Your happpy life depends on resilience

Achieving your important goals depends on your resilience

Imagine you’re going to take a journey through the Amazon jungle. Along with some lakes, rivers, hills and dangerous bushes, your map shows that you will encounter unavoidable waterfalls and many turns. How would you make sure you can safely cross the rough waters and handle any unexpected problems? What about some dangerous animals in the bushes?

Perhaps you would rely on the companionship of trusted friends along the way. Maybe you would pack an extra knife or consider using some boat. With the right tools and supports in place, one thing is sure! You will not only make it through the challenges of your jungle adventure. You will also emerge a more confident traveller!

Now imagine that this Amazon journey is your life…

What is resilience?

Your life may not come with a map for your journey, but everyone will experience ups and downs – from everyday obstacles and challenges to traumatic events like the death of the one we love, a life-changing accident or serious illness. Yet you can adapt well over time to life-changing situations and stressful challanges — thanks to resilience.

Psychologists define resilience as ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly. It’s the process of adapting well in trauma, tragedy or stressful situations. As much as resilience involves bouncing back from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth and achieving your life goals! Which as we all know isn’t roses only but also thorns – hills and turns

Resilience works when you use mental processes and behaviors in promoting personal development and progress that allow them to remain calm during crises and move on! Becoming more resilient not only helps you get through difficult circumstances, it also empowers you to grow and even improve your life along the way.

What resilience isn’t…

Being resilient doesn’t mean that you won’t experience difficulties, challanges or stresses. The same way – you can’t expect no difficulties and changes on your way through the Amazon jungle.

While certain factors might make some individuals more resilient than others (previous traumas and stresses and patterns in functioning and behaviour), resilience isn’t necessarily a personality trait. Actually, resilience involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that anyone can learn and develop and it doesn’t depend on personality that much.

Increasing your resilience takes time the same way like building your muscle or learning some new skill. Focusing on few components — meaning and setting up your goals in your (like setting up the direction through the jungle), healthy thinking, connection and wellness — can empower you to withstand and learn from difficult and traumatic experiences. To increase your capacity for resilience to weather — and grow from — the difficulties, use the following strategies.

Here you have 4 Science-Backed Strategies to build your resilience. There is many studies that have been made to prove that this things work on any individuals and by starting doing that you will build your resilience on the way to your goals and the life you want.

1. Settiing up your goals & finding the purpose.

In other words, you need to know yourself and find out what is important to you. There is plenty of ways to do that – self-exploration by meditation and reflexions, coaching or books that will guide you throguh the process.

There is plenty of books on the market with exercises that will help you define your goals and explain how to achieve them and constantly motivate yourself to act. One of the most constructive I know is the book called” GOAL. Discover, Specify and Achieve!” by Paulina Mechło and Aneta Rostkowska-Gerlach. This particular book will give you the tools that help you discover what you really want, and then designate this way. Find yourself a cozy place. Prepare crayons, pens, markers. Schedule a series of sessions with yourself, preferably at intervals of several days. Before you go to this meeting, make sure the phone is switched off and no one will look into your lonely room. But first… imagine there is no room for failure!

There are also some well-know coaching methods, a bit shorted and less exploratory for defining your goals. One of the most commonly used is called SMART. Setting SMART goals means you can clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively, and increase your chances of achieving what you want in life. Sounds like worth to give a try, right?

2. Healthy thinking – embrace healthy thoughts!

Keep things in perspective. How you think can play a significant part in how you feel — and how resilient you are when faced with obstacles. Try to identify areas of irrational thinking, such as a tendency to catastrophize difficulties or assume the world is out to get you, and adopt a more balanced and realistic thinking pattern. For instance, if you feel overwhelmed by a challenge, remind yourself that what happened to you isn’t an indicator of how your future will go, and that you’re not helpless. You may not be able to change a highly stressful event, but you can change how you interpret and respond to it.

Use your imagination and creativityInnovative thinking training. Expand your creative potential in 31 days”. It’s a great lecture written by Paulina Mechło and Olga Geppert. There is few tasks for each day, for example you start from putting the date and time, describing the weather outside the window, your energy level and vibration and the mood in which you find yourselves. Sometimes the task requires us to create a story based on illustrations, sometimes we have to imagine the world in 20 years and … let your imagination go wildl;). Each day we end the day with a FLOW, a place where, among others we can creat rather anything we wish….that schould help you to find other perspective on things….

Maintain a hopeful outlook. It’s hard to be positive when life isn’t going your way. An optimistic outlook empowers you to expect that good things will happen to you. Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear. Along the way, note any subtle ways in which you start to feel better as you deal with difficult situations.

Change the narrative. When something bad happens, we often relive the event over and over in our heads, rehashing the pain. This process is called rumination; it’s like a cognitive spinning of the wheels, and it doesn’t move us forward toward healing and growth.  

The practice of expressive writing can move you forward by helping you gain new insights on the challenges in our lives. It involves free writing continuously for 20 minutes about an issue, exploring your deepest thoughts and feelings around it. The goal is to get something down on paper, not to create a memoir-like masterpiece.

1988 study found that participants who did Expressive Writing for four days were healthier six weeks later and happier up to three months later, when compared to people who wrote about superficial topics. In writing, the researchers suggest, we’re forced to confront ideas one by one and give them structure, which may lead to new perspectives. We’re actually crafting our own life narrative and gaining a sense of control. 

Once we’ve explored the dark side of an experience, we might choose to contemplate some of its upsides. Finding Silver Linings invites you to call to mind an upsetting experience and try to list three positive things about it. For example, you might reflect on how fighting with a friend brought some important issues out into the open, and allowed you to learn something about their point of view.  

In a 2014 study, doing this practice daily for three weeks helped participants become more engaged with life afterward, and it decreased their pessimistic beliefs over time. This wasn’t true for a group whose members just wrote about their daily activities. It was particularly beneficial for staunch pessimists, who also became less depressed. But the effects wore off after two months, suggesting that looking on the bright side is something we have to practice regularly.

Accept change. Accept that change is a part of life. Certain goals or ideals may no longer be attainable as a result of adverse situations in your life. Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter.

Meditate – As mindfulness gurus like to remind us, our most painful thoughts are usually about the past or the future: We regret and ruminate on things that went wrong, or we get anxious about things that will. When we pause and bring our attention to the present, we often find that things are…okay. 

Practicing mindfulness brings us more and more into the present, and it offers techniques for dealing with negative emotions when they arise. That way, instead of getting carried away into fear, anger, or despair, we can work through them more deliberately. 

3. Face your fears.

But what about knee-shaking fears. that we’re experiencing in the here and now? The overcoming a fear practice is designed to help with everyday fears that get in the way of life, such as the fear of public speaking, heights, or flying. We can’t talk ourselves out of such fears; instead, we have to tackle the emotions directly. 

The first step is to slowly, and repeatedly, expose yourself to the things that scares you— in small doses. For example, people with a fear of public speaking might try talking more in meetings, then perhaps giving a toast at the party or wedding. Over time, you can incrementally increase the challenge until you’re ready to nail that big speech or TV interview.

4. Seeking help – recovery.

For many people, using their own resources and the kinds of strategies listed above may be enough for building their resilience. But at times, an individual might get stuck or have difficulty making progress on the road to resilience.

The important thing is to remember you’re not alone on the journey. While you may not be able to control all of your circumstances, you can grow by focusing on the aspects of life’s challenges you can manage with the support of loved ones and trusted professionals – psychologists, psychotherapist or coach

Practice forgivness – If holding a grudge is holding you back, research suggests that cultivating forgiveness could be beneficial to your mental and physical health. If you feel ready to begin, it can be a powerful practice. 

Both Nine Steps to Forgiveness and Eight Essentials When Forgiving offer a list of guidelines to follow. In both cases, you begin by clearly acknowledging what happened, including how it feels and how it’s affecting your life right now. Then, you make a commitment to forgive, which means letting go of resentment and ill will for your own sake; forgiveness doesn’t mean letting the offender off the hook or even reconciling with them. Ultimately, you can try to find a positive opportunity for growth in the experience: Perhaps it alerted you to something you need, which you may have to look for elsewhere, or perhaps you can now understand other people’s suffering better. 

If you’re having trouble forgivingLetting Go of Anger through Compassion is a five-minute forgiveness exercise that could help you get unstuck. Here, you spend a few minutes generating feelings of compassion toward your offender; “she, too, is a human being who makes mistakes; he, too, has room for growth and healing”. Be mindfully aware of your thoughts and feelings during this process, and notice any areas of resistance. 

Not convinced this is the best approach? Researchers tested it against the common alternatives—either ruminating on negative feelings or repressing them—and found that cultivating compassion led participants to report more empathy, positive emotions, and feelings of control. That’s an outcome that victims of wrong doing deserve, no matter how we feel about the offenders. 

5. Take care of your body. 

Self-care may be a popular buzzword, but it’s also a legitimate practice for mental health and building resilience. That’s because stress is just as much physical as it is emotional! Promoting positive lifestyle factors like proper nutrition, ample sleep, hydration and regular exercise can strengthen your body to adapt to stress and reduce the toll of emotions like anxiety or depression.

Avoid negative outlets. It may be tempting to mask your pain with alcohol, drugs or other substances, but that’s like putting a bandage on a deep wound. Focus instead on giving your body resources to manage stress, rather than seeking to eliminate the feeling of stress altogether.

Stress and struggles come in many forms in life: adversity and trauma, fear and shame, betrayals of trust. The above practices can help you cope with difficulties when they arise, but also prepare you for challenges in the future. With enough practice, you’ll have a toolbox of techniques that come naturally—a rainy-day fund for the mind, that will help keep you afloat when times get tough. Just knowing that you’ve built up your skills of resilience can be a great comfort, and even a happiness booster.

Recommended books:

  1. CEL. Odkryj, określ, osiągnij! Paulina MechłoAneta Rostkowska-Gerlach
  2. Trening innowacyjnego myślenia. Rozwiń swój kreatywny potencjał w 31 dni Paulina Mechło and Olga Geppert.

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