When something bad happens in your life, how quickly can you bounce back to your usual self? What about when something stressful happens? Or something tragic?
This actually has a name: resiliency. It is the ability we have to successfully adapt to difficult or challenging life experiences; it is the ability to respond quickly to change without being overwhelmed, and acting in dysfunctional or harmful ways.
It is also the ability to function in everyday life and do what is necessary to take care of yourself with good grace and good will. It is an important ingredient in a happy and satisfying life.
Change and Being Resilient
We learn a lot about how resilient we can be when something changes in life. Whether the change is positive, such as a new job or a new home, or negative, it all causes stress. There is a break in a comfortable routine, and anxiety when we no longer know exactly what we need to do and what is expected of us.
The good news is that we can take charge of the changes in our lives. Here are seven simple ways to build confidence in your ability to face change and to build resiliency.
1. Nike had a very famous ad campaign based on the slogan “Just do It.” There is so much truth in that statement, but for it to work you must give yourself credit for what you do. Moving forward does not require big steps. Every accomplishment, every change, begins with one small step.
2. Write down your thoughts, problems, goals, solutions, and ideas: The first step you can take is to write things down. It will make your thoughts clearer, and focus your time and attention. This counts as the first step and it will help you take the next step.
3. Create steps for an action plan: We may not realize it, but everything we do is done in steps. Break down your goal into manageable stages. When you take a step, mark it off the list. As you watch the to-do list dwindle, you will begin to feel a sense of accomplishment. The increased confidence will also increase your motivation.
4. Imagine a positive outcome: The grief will end, the goal will be obtained, and that hard job will get finished. If you have a difficult task ahead, don't spend your time telling yourself how much you hate the work. Instead, imagine what it will be like when the task is finished. Try listening to music, an audio book, podcast, or even sing as you work. Even the most monotonous task can become an opportunity to entertain yourself.
5. Be encouraging, kind and nurturing to yourself: Treat yourself as you would a favored child. Make sure your needs are being met. Have you had enough rest? Eaten well? Have on comfortable clothes? If you are working outside, do you have on sunscreen and bug spray? Are you drinking enough fluids? Simple things that will make you feel better.
6. Reach out to others: Is there someone with whom you can trade time? Everyone has work that must be done in their lives, so find a buddy that can help you. Some jobs go faster with a companion helping, or simply keeping you company. Ask how others get things done. Friends, family, and the internet are rich sources of experience and helpful tips. There may be an easier, faster way to do what needs to be done.
7. Learn to hear your opinions and change them: What we tell ourselves about what we are doing has a huge impact on how we experience it. For example, if you say to yourself, “I hate to clean the house,” then you will be miserable the whole time you are doing it. Instead, if you say, “This is not my favorite job, but it gives me time to listen to music while I work,” it will change your perspective. You may not like the work, but you now have something positive on which to focus.
As you build your resiliency, you will become more tolerant of stress. Difficult experiences will become opportunities to learn valuable lessons. You will develop a more positive outlook on life and see difficulties as a part of life to overcome and move through.
Resilient people come out the other side of a difficult experience stronger and wiser. Are you ready to become more resilient? I can help you grow. Call me at (919)881-2001.