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Building Resilience
Building Resilience
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Have you been hit by an obstacle or life-changing occurence (such as the demise of a loved one, loss of a job, failures, etc)? Did you experience those range of feelings and pain that accompanied the event? Have you bounced back or still wallowing in despair? News flash! Either way, you are not alone. We all face difficult situations, we experience changes – major and minor, expected and unexpected, that leaves us with feelings such as pain, fear, and anxiety, to mention but a few.

However, even in the face of these obstacles experienced in life, we see a lot of persons holding up just fine, coping well and coming out stronger. What really could be responsible for this strength? Yes, it is the quality of Resilience. What really is Resilience? What isn’t resilience? Why is Resilience important? How can one build resilience? You would know if you stay glued to this page.

Resilience is the ability of something to return to its shape after undergoing some form of compression. It is the ability of a person to recover from, adjust to or withstand a misfortune or serious challenge.

Psychologists view resilience as the ability to emotionally and mentally cope with a predicament and still bounce back from such difficult life events. Resilience is like a strength reserve people reach out for to help carry them through unpleasant circumstances and situational distresses.

It is this quality that helps you and I get through very difficult situations and still come out strong. Sometimes, people are just too resilient that hardly would people notice anything unpleasant happened to them. Resilience is strength. It helps you endure, cope, adjust to changes, withstand an unpleasant experience and all the feelings associated with it, without losing yourself.

There exist some fallacies about resilience. While resilience entails finding a way to rise from the ashes, do note that resilience isn’t these:
Ignoring the pain like it doesn’t exist, just to prove you are strong. No, it’s experiencing all the hurt, the misery, the fears, the anxiety and still staying on track.
• Isn’t only for people with a tough emotional makeup. Everyone can be resilient.
• It isn’t mental toughness. While resilience is the quality that helps one bounce back after a setback, mental toughness is a personality trait that determines how an individual reacts to stress, challenges, pressures and which can help them avoid any of such in the first place.

Resilience is a powerful quality that all need to develop, especially now, when it seems the world is a roller coaster. Think about all that has happened recently and that still happen- the pandemic and all the trauma, losses and falls that accompanied it. Even today, many still struggle to survive, to keep their heads above waters. The good news? A good number are doing just fine – thanks in great part, to resilience. Therefore, with all that happened, are happening and will happen, you would agree that developing resilience is a must, highly indispensable. And why is that? Notice what resilience can do for you:
• Resilience gives you the fortitude to keep going amidst setbacks.
• It prevents you from indulging in risky behaviours such as drug abuse, excessive alcohol intake or even going to the extreme – committing suicide just to end it all or null the pains.
• With resilience, you can come out of your fizzle with your focus still intact.
• Resilience helps you to cope or manage very stressful situations while maintaining a positive outlook.
• The quality of resilience helps you not to wallow in an unpleasant situation nor allow life’s problems to throw you off the track.

You surely have seen how important this quality is. Now, let’s get straight to how you can build this powerful and yet necessary quality. What can you do to be resilient?

• Have a support system: It is common to see some persons isolate themselves when they face challenges. The truth remains this; you need people. You just can’t do it all alone. Experience has shown that having a good support system especially during trying times is effective in helping an individual cope with a challenge. A strong support system can come from your relationships. Yes, it could be your family and true friends. Connecting with such understanding people will remind you that you are not alone. These ones will prove to be a shoulder you can lean on. They will help you through the hurt and look for ways to get you back on track. So, who is your support system? What are you doing now to form a solid one?

• Accept change: Embracing change as inevitable helps one get ready for it. The truth is that, nothing will remain just the same. It can get better, or even worse. You don’t have total control over all the eventualities in your life. Something will change one day. That’s the reality of it. So, expect change to occur and prepare for it. This will help you stay resilient even when it comes. More so, you can make realistic plans on how to keep going in the present circumstance.

• Practice Self-care: It has become a norm for some persons to lose themselves and their health in the face of unpleasant occurrences. Some do this to distract themselves from the present reality. A good example is binge drinking. Truth be told, that act doesn’t help. It only takes you farther away from reality, leaving you with more dejection. You can only heal the time you accept your feelings, hurtful they may be, and embrace them. It is imperative that you learn to take care of your wellbeing – spiritual, physical and mental. Adopting healthy lifestyle such as proper nutrition, hydration, regular exercise can help. Practice mindfulness, think about what you have at the present and maintain a grateful spirit. These can give you that positive outlook and keep you resilient. At first, they may not be so easy to do, because you may be so depressed to even engage in any activity, but the earlier you take care of you, the better.

• Be Provident: When you are provident or proactive, you show awareness and readiness for the future. Being proactive helps build problem-solving and coping skills. When you develop skills such as emotional intelligence, stress-reduction and cognitive restructuring (i.e., processes such as thought recording, disputing, evaluation and guided questioning which helps to challenge and change your negative or irrational thinking patterns if any). These skills will be handy when unpleasant issues arise since you possess them. Note, too, that these skills are not one-off skills. They are skills you keep working on until you achieve your aim of being more resilient.
Also, being provident helps you set better goals and attain them. You could think of that unpleasant occurrence, was it your fault? Could you have averted it? Having foresight can help you make realistic plans on how to do better. It will help you avoid pitfalls. So, instead of wallowing in depression, can you look for better ways to improve?

• Be purposeful: A setback is not the end of it all. Many successful people experienced serious challenges and still remain undeterred. You too can do the same. It is true that the challenge may have put your life on a pause, but can you press the play button again? Yes, you can! All you need is to make realistic goals and make plans on how to reach these goals. Be intentional about your life. Do your part. A one-time failure is not an all-time failure. Having a sense of purpose helps you develop that fortitude amidst challenges.

• Keep your thoughts in check: Being mindful of your thoughts can help you not to blow things out of proportion. This is necessary because how you think is directly proportional to how you feel. True, when something bad happens, some persons feel it’s just the end. That’s a product of overthinking. You know what overthinking does? It creates problems that never existed in the first place. It is not easy not to think so much, but you can try. You need to be rational and conscientious. Learn to change directions when those irrational thoughts streak in. This helps you stay resilient.

• Stay hopeful: Also important is the need to be hopeful. Hope gives you the will to try again. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. Be patient, things do and will get better. Stay hopeful and right on track.

• Seek help: There are times when you follow the strategies listed above and still find it hard to get back to your normal realm of activities. If that is so, you need a mental health professional such as a psychologist or therapist. S(he) can help you in developing the fitting blueprint to be resilient. Are you in need of one? Do not hesitate to send a mail to marawrytesforbl@gmail.com . Distance should not be a barrier to getting this type of help as online sessions are available. Remember, you need your whole self in good shape to function optimally.

Do you not agree that resilience is just that quality that everyone, young and old, needs to build? And it’s true that some persons have this trait right from birth, you can still improve on it. There’s no harm in getting better. So, while you can’t control or choose all that life will throw at you, remember that you can still thrive, and make the best of your situations by being resilient. As Hellen Keller puts it, “although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” You can keep the roads clear by staying resilient.

I am glad you followed till this point, thank you. Now, what do you think of this article? It will be so great to learn from you too. Could you share what has helped you stay resilient and on track in the comment section below? It will be well appreciated.



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