February 22 2024 – Delikate Rayne

Daily life can bring us down, combine that with other stressors pushing down on us, we each face individual challenges in our lives. The trick is to be able to feel the conflict, adapt to the changes, and come out of it having gained personal growth. This trait is called “resilience” and is basically the ability to “bounce back” from life’s obstacles. 
There are many parts of resilience, and it includes physical health, the thought process you use to approach different scenarios, maintaining optimism, and a social support network. What resilience does not include is pushing yourself too far or thinking you have to suck everything up and plow through. Rather, it is about balance: knowing how to sustain yourself without overly relying on others, but also knowing when you need to ask for help. 

Resilience is not an innate talent that you are born with. Instead, it is a life skill that anyone can learn, develop, and practice. Below is a breakdown of some of the most important components of resilience. 

Physical care - Emotional health won’t mean much if your body is struggling, and being resilient means taking care of both your mind and body. Practicing good physical health will help you meet your daily tasks. Exercise, eat well, sleep well. Avoid negative outlets, such as excessive drinking or substance abuse. Cover the basics and your mind-body connection will reward you with good health. 

Self-Awareness - To be resilient, you need to be self-aware. Learn how to listen to yourself and notice the particular thoughts you have. Where are you in the situation? How bad is it really? It is important to recognize when we are blowing problems out of proportion and causing ourselves unnecessary worry. Learn what coping mechanisms help you, be it going for a run, painting, listening to music, identify the activities and practices that help calm you. 

Reframing the story - Once you learn to recognize your thoughts, you can learn to reframe how you think about a situation. For example, if you catch yourself thinking that things will always be bad, you will be sapping yourself of hope. Instead, remind yourself that the bad times will pass. You can also search for lessons. Find something you can learn from the current situation, and reframe it into a learning opportunity. 

Focus and Mindfulness - Focusing on different things at once is draining. Learn how to direct your energy into one thing at a time, even if that means less multi-tasking at work. Practice mindfulness to keep yourself calm and centered in the busy, busy world we live in. Take some time off the screen to focus on yourself to recharge if you feel the need to. 

Connecting with others - Maintaining positive and healthy relationships with others allows us to develop social networks that can support us during times of need. Close relationships with others will also remind you that you are not alone. Connecting with people who share similar interests and values can also provide us with a feeling of connectedness and purpose as everyone works together. Join groups that work towards a cause you are passionate about will spark hope. You can also engage in random acts of kindness to remind yourself how we are all connected as people. 

Motivation and Goals - Going through life without a guidepost can often be confusing. Having clear goals helps cultivate resilience by providing a concrete sense of purpose that can be the motivator through various challenges. What is important to you? What makes you get out of bed in the morning? Develop hobbies and passions outside of work or studies. What are the things that make up you as a person? These are the things that will ultimately carry us through the day when things get rough.

Embrace growth and change - Most importantly, practicing resilience means that you are open and accepting of change, both of the world around you and yourself. Accept that many things are temporary and you can work through them. And know that you yourself are capable of growth and becoming a kinder, stronger person. Celebrate your efforts and believe that you can change for the better.  

Resilience is not easy, and it takes effort to cultivate it. We cannot choose the difficulties we encounter, but we can choose how we react to them. With the right mindset, approach, and support, you are capable of handling anything the world throws at you. 

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Words by: Panisara Jaijongkit