5 Tips to Resilience

Resilience is a way of thinking about life. It is our ability to adapt and bounce back when things get hard and our plans get derailed. Resilient people make the choice not to stay frozen in what is wrong. They acknowledge the situation and even feel the pain from it, then they learn from it, find the lessons or the silver lining, and they move forward. 

I have heard a lot of words used to explain the last year. Everything from strange to sh** show has been used to describe it. Life has presented us with some pretty intense events as a community and a world. Meanwhile, many people have still had their own personal and private struggles and stressors. If you look around, there are people who have been shocked, scared, and paralyzed by the last year. There are other people who have moved through it and have maintained a sense of normalcy in their lives. So, what is the difference between the people who were paralyzed and the people with normalcy? Resilience.

Our Thoughts Aren’t the Absolute Truth. 

If you are reading this and thinking that you don’t believe you have resilience or that you can’t figure out how to move forward, the good news is that resilience is possible for not just you, but everyone. Acknowledging the way that we think about difficult situations is important. We tend to believe that every thought that pops into our heads is the absolute truth, but our thoughts aren’t the absolute truth. 

“I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.” 

-Maya Angelou

We get to choose what we think. When you notice yourself thinking negative things, you can catch yourself and switch out the negative thoughts for more positive ones. Instead of: “this has been the worst year of my life,” You could instead remind yourself of this: “This year has been challenging, but there have been some good things that happened,” i.e. More time with my family, time to organize my home, time to relax and get centered, etc. Remembering that you have a choice in what you think is the first step in living a resilient life.

Our Thoughts Create a Chain Reaction

You can choose to think better thoughts, which lead to you feeling better. 

What we choose to think determines how we feel and what we do. 

What we feel and what we do leads to our measure of resilience.

This means that resilience is a choice.

Patterns of Negative Thinking Can Lead to Isolation

It is really easy for our minds to wander and get trapped in patterns of negative thinking. When things are hard or we are in crisis, the tendency to think about the negative intensifies and our minds can become more set on repeating thoughts about all of the worst case scenarios and the what ifs. This leads to feeling more fear and uncertainty. If we are in a pattern of thinking about all of the ills of the world, we may find ourselves looking for information about what is happening. This is why we can read one story after another about all of the bad things that are happening.  

When your mind gets stuck replaying negative thoughts, a chain reaction begins. It starts with fear narrowing your field of vision. When this happens, it becomes harder to see the big picture and the possibilities. This leads to a limit in our ability to connect with others, so we tend to isolate because our worst fears and judgements about others increase. 

In order to increase your resilience, here are some questions that we asked in our Fierce 15 group to help you:

  1. What does resiliency mean to you? 
  2. What is the opposite of resiliency for you? 
  3.  What thoughts are you having that are contributing to your hopelessness? 
  4.  What thoughts have you been having that are contributing to your resiliency?
  5. What difference will having resilient thoughts make in your life?

Take some time to journal and reflect on these questions. It will make you more aware of how you show up in life so that you can make a choice that feels right for you. 

How I Can Help

If you want additional support, I offer some different options: