How do you react to everyday stresses and personal or professional obstacles? Do you credit them to your personal characteristics such as incompetence or you can attribute your failures to specific, short-term factors? Are you a perfectionist who doesn’t accept anything less than excellence?
Resilience is a personal capacity that determines how we will cope with life disappointments. Will your personal and professional failures knock you down or your mental strength will get you through troubles and allow you to recover and come back stronger than ever?
What Makes Us Resilient?
According to psychologists, factors that make some people more resilient than others include a positive mindset, optimism, the ability to focus on the present, mental flexibility, high emotional intelligence (EQ), and the ability to see disappointments as a chance for growth.
How to Boost Your Resilience?
People who master resilience are able to accept the life challenges with flexibility and a positive attitude. Resilience is a skill and, like any other skill, you can practice and gain control of. Here are some things you can do to improve your resilience.
1. Practice Mindfulness Meditation
The ability to focus on the present moment without avoidance or judgment is one of the best means of resilience-building. Mindfulness reduces your rumination, helps you focus on your strengths and boosts your self-awareness.
According to neuroscientist Richard Davidson, mindfulness can increase your flexibility – a few minutes of mindfulness meditation every day may rewire your brain, making it more resilient to stress. Research has shown that mindfulness practice reduces the activity in the part of the brain called amygdala. The amygdala is a part of the limbic system that has the control over our emotional responses. This set of neurons is vital in activating your stress response. Therefore, reducing its activity, mindfulness meditation cuts your level of stress.
2. Be Grateful
Gratitude is a powerful tool in building your mental strength or resilience. Studies show that people are more likely to focus on barriers that hold them back instead of strengths that can thrust them towards success. However, research proves that focusing on positive things in your life can significantly increase your resilience, life satisfaction, optimism, empathy, and self-esteem.
In addition, counting your blessings each day can inspire positive actions and boost your progress towards goals.
3. Set the Boundaries
To promote your mental strength, you need to understand the difference between who you really are and the temporary challenges in your life. The stress or traumatic experience may significantly affect your life but you should not allow these experiences to overtake your identity.
4. Practice Acceptance
Accept that healing after stressful or traumatic events takes time. No matter how much you want the pain to go away, you need to accept that disappointments, stress, crisis, and the pain are a part of your life experience. This kind of perspective will help you to come to terms with your suffering and give you strength to recover. Ignoring, repressing or denying your pain can provide a short-term relief. However, denying your pain can cause different mental health problems and prolong suffering. Acceptance is not about letting stress and disappointment take over. It is about the ability to dive into your emotions and trust in yourself that you can bounce back after life challenges.