Resilience is a term for the ability to bounce back from difficult situations or challenges in life, whether that’s some kind of professional setback or a personal loss. You can become more resilient by following three remarkable simple strategies:
1. Be present. Many people just breeze through life, paying little attention to what’s around them. Some are so driven by their vision of the future that they look past today’s many blessings. Others are anchored to the past and can’t escape reliving hurts and missteps from years ago.
People who are resilient are mindful of the present moment. They take in the many delights life has to offer. Yes, they have a history and know there will be a future, but they want to make the most of today. When they have lunch with a friend, their full attention is on the company and the conversation, not the next thing they have to do. Because they live in the moment and pay attention, they find their daily activities more satisfying and memorable.
2. Be curious. Your mind and your body are constantly sending you messages in any number of different ways. Whether it’s a twinge of anxiety at a potentially intimidating situation or the deep joy of a happy moment, your brain and your body react honestly and truthfully.
People who are resilient pay attention to those moments. They notice how they react to situations and are curious about what’s driving the reactions. Then they use that knowledge to adjust their behavior or response. For example, instead of letting an anxious moment bring them to a stop, they analyze the anxiety to see what’s behind it and use what they learn to move forward with confidence.
3. Protect your heart. In a way, people are like sponges, soaking up all kinds of messages and interactions. We hear positive and negative words and experience good and bad interactions, and what we do with them goes a long way toward determining our moods.
People who are resilient are careful about which messages they absorb into their hearts and which people they allow to send those messages. They pay more attention to people who share positive thoughts and make them feel stronger, while distancing themselves from the people who negative and bad motives would diminish them. By encouraging the positive and brushing aside the negative, they gain additional joy and happiness from every day.
If you are having difficulty staying present, are not sure how to be curious without self judgement, or have a hard time setting boundaries that guard your heart, reach out to us. We’re here to help.
Deb Kulchar is one of our Care Team Coordinators. She is often one the first person with whom you may talk to when scheduling an appointment with a therapist.