Have you ever noticed that two people can go through situations that are very similar and their responses and ability to cope with the challenge end up being very different? This happens, in part, because of the difference in each person’s ability to be resilient when facing a challenge. There are many factors that go into building resiliency. Some factors involve things that are out of your control, like genetics, your family, and the environment or conditions you grew up in. But, some of the factors that influence your resiliency ARE within your circle of control, and those are the components that need attention. Here are 6 areas of your life you can focus on to assist you in building resiliency.
Develop a Strong Support System
It is important to have people you can talk to and confide in. Even more important, however, is your ability to discuss your struggles with these people. You can have an abundance of people surrounding you and offering support, but if you are not reaching out, accepting help, or allowing yourself to be vulnerable and open, it will be difficult to gain the benefits of that support. Do you have family, friends, or co-workers that you can trust? Are you willing to open yourself up to feelings of love, intimacy, and friendship?
Establish Healthy Thinking
Healthy thinking does not mean thinking about everything in a positive light. Negative thoughts will most likely occur from time to time; that’s normal. The trick is to be able to challenge negative thoughts or reframe those thoughts into something different. As with everything in life, the more you practice this technique, the more automatic and natural your positive thinking will be.
Healthy thinking also involves the avoidance of ruminating on mistakes or obsessing over personal flaws. It is beneficial to recognize your strengths and weaknesses in a rational and realistic way, allowing room for self-compassion.
Build Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy
Low self-esteem can be deeply rooted and very complex. Building self-esteem and self-efficacy can take time and a lot of hard work. Self-efficacy is the belief we have in our ability to succeed. Not only do you need to tell yourself that you are worthy and valuable to boost your self-esteem, but you must also truly believe it.
Do you believe you have the ability to overcome challenges? Belief in your abilities is underpinned by a sense of optimism or confidence that you have what it takes to be successful as you are confronted with challenges. Remember the children’s story The Little Engine that Could? Just as the little blue engine thought she could face her challenge head-on and accomplish the task in front of her by her belief in her abilities, you too can increase your chances of being successful by simply increasing your self-efficacy.
Maintain a Sense of Purpose
What brings you joy? What contributes to your happiness? What gives your life meaning? Maintaining your sense of purpose involves an understanding of what you value, then living in harmony with those values. Is it work, parenting, school, volunteering, family, friendships? After identifying those things that foster purpose, accept and honor this purpose. Pursue your purpose with passion and enthusiasm.
Become Conscious of Ways to Improve and Sustain Physical Health
I know you have heard it a thousand times… it’s important to exercise and eat healthy foods. It is not always easy but maintaining a balanced and healthy diet along with adequate exercise is not only good for your body, but it is also great for your mental health. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, exercise can reduce stress, fatigue, improve alertness and concentration, and can assist in improving overall cognitive functioning.
Develop Coping Skills That Work for You
Coping skills are not one-size-fits-all. What works for one person may seem silly and unrealistic to another. It is important to take the time to figure out not only what you are comfortable with, but what actually assists you during challenging times. Some individuals like to take a time out when they feel overwhelmed, walking into another room, or distracting themselves. Others benefit from taking deep breaths, journaling, confiding in a friend, prayer, or practicing grounding techniques. There are many, many ways to cope with stress and life’s challenges. The important thing is to find out what healthy coping skills work for you, then implement them as normal practice during difficult times.
Let’s face it, life is challenging and stressful. Whether you are currently going through a difficult time or just want to be ready for the next challenge, focus on these techniques in order to build your own resilience. Building resiliency can help you come back from struggles stronger and more determined than you have ever been.
Are you at a point in your life where you can’t cope with your issues and challenges on your own? If you need assistance or someone to guide you in building resilience in your own life, give us a call at Texas Harmony Counseling in The Woodlands or contact us here. We have trained counselors who can support you during your struggle.