Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Connecting with our Resilience


Being resilient doesn't make our problems go away -- but resilience can give us the ability to see past them, find enjoyment in life and better handle stress.  If you aren't as resilient as you'd like to be, you can develop skills to become more resilient.  Resilience harnesses inner strength that helps us bounce back from a setback or challenge - could be death of a loved one, illness, job loss to mention a few.  

Resilience = Adaptation.  It doesn't mean we need to be stoic, holding it inside or toughing it out!  Being able to reach out to others is a key component of being resilient!

Tips for Resiliency (from the

1.  Get Connected:  Building strong, positive relationships with loved ones and friends can provide you with needed support and acceptance in both good times and bad.  Establish other important connections by doing volunteer work, getting involved in your community or joining a faith or spiritual community.  Connecting with others who have experienced a loss as yours ie, a grief group, or another support group can help in building your resiliency as well.
2.  Make every day meaningful:  Do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day.  Set goals to help you look toward the future with meaning.
3.   Learn from experience.  Think back on how you've copies with hardships in the past.  Consider the skills and strategies that helped you through rough times.  You might even write about past experiences in a journal to help you identify both positive and negative behavior patterns -- and guide your behavior in the future.
4.  Remain hopeful.  You can't change what's happened in the past, but you can always look toward the future.  Accepting and even anticipating change makes it easier to adjust and view new challenges with less anxiety.
5.  Take care of yourself.  Tend to your own needs and feelings, both physically and emotionally.  Participate in activities and hobbies you enjoy.  Include physical activity in your daily routine.  Get plenty of sleep.  Eat a healthy diet.  To restore an inner sense of peace or calm, practice stress management and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation,  guided imagery, deep breathing or prayer.
6.  Be proactive.  Don't ignore your problems or try to wish them away.  Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan and take action.  Although it can take time to recover from a major setback, traumatic event or loss,  know that your situation can improve if you actively work at it.

Remember, being resilient takes time and practice. If you don't feel you're making progress -- or you don't know where to start -- consider talking to a therapist.  With guidance, you can improve your resiliency!

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