Building Your Resiliency Muscle

Building Your Resiliency Muscle

12/7/20 Laura Gibbons

Resilience is the ability to recover, spring back, or rebound from a situation that tests us. Think of a rubber band. The more it stretches, the more tension you feel. Overtime and with practice, we learn that although we may get stretched….and stretched, we can bounce back.

“Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance
to work through difficult problems.” – Gever Tulley

We all have the ability to become more resilient, but some may have been building their resiliency muscle over time, while others may still need to build theirs. To build resiliency, integrate the following tips into your life.

“Things turn out best for those people who make the best
of the way things turns out.” – John Wooden

Build positive beliefs and confidence in your abilities. If you believe that you have the capabilities and resources to handle new situations, change, difficulty, or other disruptions, you are more likely to avoid negative self-talk, feel less helpless, and maintain a CAN-DO attitude that you can manage whatever comes your way.

Be your own problem-solving superhero. If you feel that you can solve problems rather than being stumped by them, you can propel yourself into problem-solving mode rather than worry. Worry tends to keep us stuck, but being able to take one small step forward releases us. As a problem-solving superhero, you will be able to tackle problems knowing solutions are around the corner.

See change as an opportunity. You know what they say, change is the one thing you can count on. Accepting change and focusing on the things within your control can help alter the way you think about change and the situation. If you see change as an opportunity, it will allow you to focus more on the possibilities than fear and uncertainty.

Slow down to regulate emotions. We all have triggers that ignite our flight, fight, or freeze response. Being aware of our triggers, and being able to slow down in those moments allows us to calm ourselves and let the emotions move through. This helps us to access our cognitive resources and allows more positive emotions to come in to regulate the negative emotions rather than be hijacked by them.

Replace negative thought patterns with positivity and optimism. Set a mantra to live by. For example: “I can do hard things.” This mantra doesn’t say easy, it says hard. If you keep a positive outlook and are optimistic that things will turn out ok and let positives outweigh negatives, then you will be building up that positive circuitry in the brain that is more solution-oriented than problem-focused.

Get connected. Having a support network and making regular connections (not just on Facebook) can help us feel more connected and better able to cope with the everyday challenges of life. Whether you are receiving support or providing it – or just laughing and having fun – the returns are two-fold. And so make that phone call or schedule that coffee date.

Commit to self-care. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important to resilience. Include good nutrition, exercise, adequate sleep, stress management, and other activities that fill you up each day.

Find meaning in adversity. Even in the hardest of times, finding meaning in adversity builds resilience. You just may learn something about yourself or others, gain a new perspective on life, increase your empathy, find a renewed sense of purpose, deepen your relationships, and recognize new appreciations.

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