Let’s talk about what can be done to bolster our resilience. There are so many different ways we can accomplish this in order to keep ourselves healthy and ensure that we are always able to trudge forward, even in times of uncertainty and stress.
What works for me may not work for you, but I encourage you to experiment.
Four Ways to Boost Your Resilience
Positive emotions. The value of positive emotion in keeping us hardy in the face of stress – looking for moments in the day that create a feeling like joy or gratitude or contentment – is invaluable when looking to boost our resilience. It can be something very small or insignificant seeming, but acknowledging something that you’re grateful in your life can create the positive emotion required to boost your resilience stores. What can you do today, or several times during the day, that helps you feel that fullness from a positive emotion? Positive emotions build resilience.
Optimism. I’m not talking about burying your head in the sand, or acting like life is always rainbows and butterflies. But rather, what is one thing I can control, now? What purposeful action can I take, now? When we do that, we can control our slice of the world. When we do that, it builds our optimism and, in turn, it boosts our resilience.
Relationships. What are the small ways that I can reach out to others? This lets people know that we care about them, but it also fills us up by reminding us that we have relationships that can sustain us even when things are rough.
Awe walks. For the purpose of allowing your eyes to see the magnificent from the mundane. This is possible when we slow down and allow ourselves off the hook, to be okay with feeling happy. We always seem to give ourselves enough space to feel crappy but also carve out time to search out the good stuff that can bring us a moment of peace or happiness. One does not eclipse the other entirely.
These ideas aren’t rocket science but sometimes it’s about reminding ourselves to do these simple things that we know keep us robust. These are things that, for generations, we have been told we should be doing…and now they are backed by science*.
*Reivich, K., & Shatté, A. (2002). The resilience factor: 7 essential skills for overcoming life’s inevitable obstacles. Broadway Books.