5 Keys to Building Resilience
The ability to face adversity with strength and grace is a gift. Or maybe it’s a matter of training. Resilience—the ability to recover and move forward—is a powerful characteristic, and psychologists say it’s one we can learn to be become better at.
- Deepen your connections. Although we may tend to respond to stress by drawing inward, connecting with understanding family and friends helps us recognize that we’re not alone. Bonding with people who genuinely care about us provides comfort and a sense of belonging.
- Foster wellness. Stress takes a toll on our mental and physical health. A positive lifestyle that accounts for nutrition, sleep, and exercise helps our bodies adapt. Mindfulness practices such as journaling, yoga, and meditation can help break negative ruminations that arise when we’re anxious.
- Find purpose. When we devote time to assisting others, we’re more apt to feel a renewed sense of purpose. A greater sense of purpose can also come through self-reflection: Thinking deeply about our motivations allows us to set goals—even small daily goals—that inch us ever forward.
- Embrace healthy thoughts. Accepting that adversity is part of life allows us to see beyond our immediate stress to what we might learn from unfortunate events. Thinking about how we’ve handled previous troubles reminds us of our tenacity and our ability to grow through hardship.
- Seek help. No one gets through the challenges of life alone. Trauma, depression, or the feeling of being stuck with no path out may signal that it’s time for expert assistance. A mental health professional or support group could be the key to moving forward in the quest for resilience.