When we are young we think of ourselves as invincible and feel that nothing can curb our enthusiasm for life’s potential. Yet with time and experience that buoyancy often wanes as the realities of life’s hardships take a toll. Yet, resiliency doesn’t have to wither with age.
Have you noticed how some people seem born to bounce back? These people overcome setbacks with relative ease and grace despite the adversity they are going through.
Although emotional resilience is partially innate, it is something that can be cultivated, protected and treasured as one of our greatest personal assets if we are willing to take the time to develop it.
There are some common attributes to those who are resilient:
>> They believe that they’re in control of their lives. We all know that while we can’t control circumstances, we can control how we respond. Experts say that this makes a big difference not only in our attitude but in the course that our life takes.
>> They try to be more optimistic. Being an optimist is more than looking on the bright side. It’s a way of viewing the world in a more productive way. It’s a mindset where the hardship is viewed as temporary, and the focus is placed on the most favorable aspects and outcome.
>> They have healthy coping systems. This often includes a sense of humor. Those who can laugh at life’s frustrations have increased immunity to stress and adversity. Those with a sense of humor about life tend to experience life as less stressful, are able to bond with others during difficult times.
If you are going through a hardship now, here are some ways to nurture your resilience.
>> Focus on where things are going right. You already know where things are going wrong, so make the effort to see what is working for you.
>> Let go of what’s out of your control. Focus on what you can control. If you catch yourself worrying about something, gently move your thoughts back to what makes you feel better.
>> Remember that worrying is an extreme waste of your energy. Say to yourself often, “I will worry in proportion to the likelihood of the event.” Then note that you are probably worrying way out of proportion when considering what the odds actually are of what might go wrong.
The most important thing to remember when faced with adversity: Don’t withdraw from people. Instead, nurture relationships with friends and family and be willing to accept help from those who care.
Resilient people have at least one or two people in their lives that they turn to for support. A supportive friend can help lighten the load, and those with strong networks of social support tend to stay healthier and happier throughout life.
Alice Inoue is the founder of Happiness U. Visit yourhappinessu.com.