What is Resilience?
American Psychological Association defines resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress. Resilience is found in the ordinary experiences of a person’s life. It is something that each of us can develop and strengthen. Family relationships that provide trust, and love, play a key role in cultivating resilience.
Resilience is a word I hear often. As a military spouse, it is used to describe what we need to become to survive the hardships that military life brings. Yet, I know I am not alone in my desire to become more resilient.
Finding Inner Resilience
Resilience is used to describe many people I admire, people who have been through hard things and have risen to overcome unimaginable challenges. Resilience means “to recover quickly from difficulties.” Yet, as I look back at the last few weeks, I have not recognized much resilience in my own life.
Many of us, like myself, are dealing with challenges; life is not always easy. It changes and shifts as we journey through different experiences. I often wonder why it feels so hard to bounce back when we experience challenges. I believe it is because we view resilience as something big we must do to become resilient. However, after being reminded by a wise friend what resilience truly is, I realize that resilience is built through the small and simple things we do to press forward every day.
Resilience is a choice, it is not always an easy choice, but every day we choose. When we face challenges, we get up. We keep putting one foot in front of the other towards, not back, because we need to go towards the direction. Towards is outside of our comfort zone, and towards helping us build strength. Towards forcing us to leave the anger, hurt, sadness, and frustration behind. Towards is the direction of resilience, the path we choose as we continuously rise through our struggles. Challenges and stress are a normal part of life. They are unavoidable. However, inside each of us are the tools to strengthen that resilience, so each time we are faced with a challenge, we know that we will be ok.
10 Ways to Become more Resilience
What are your strengths? Sit down and write out the qualities that you possess that you feel are strong. Those are the qualities that you can rely on when times are hard. Those qualities are part of your resilience, the resilience that is already inside of you.
Celebrate those small steps you make. For me, this week, I felt like showering as an accomplishment, and it was. I had a hard week. It would have been so easy to sit and wallow in my overwhelming sadness, but instead, I got up, and I worked out, and I showered. I celebrate that today because those small and simple steps helped me through the challenges I faced this week. Those steps helped me to see my resilience.
Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Each day write out three things you are grateful for; this can give you something positive to focus on when things are challenging.
Make connections with others. Surround yourself with those who you can reach out to for support. Part of resilience is knowing when to ask for help. Make connections with those who can support you through your challenges.
Accept that change and challenges happen. Flexibility is an essential part of resilience. At each stage of life, we are met with new challenges and experiences. Learning how to meet each of these changes and challenges with an attitude of acceptance instead of resistance will help your resilience grow.
Strengthen your self-view, meaning how you think about who you are. You matter. How you see yourself matters. If you believe you are strong, then you are. Take the time to recognize your strengths and celebrate them. Those strengths will help you see just how capable you are to overcome challenges.
Be optimistic, and allow yourself to hope. Having hope that things will get better can carry you through challenges. Even if the light at the end of the tunnel seems far, have hope that it is there. Be optimistic about things changing for the better. Having an attitude of hope will help you cultivate change in your own life.
Strengthen your confidence by believing in yourself more and taking action. Believing in yourself is a powerful tool. If you think you can, you are more likely to take action, which helps remove indecision.
Write resilience affirmations. Affirmations are a wonderful tool to help build your self-confidence and remind yourself of your inner strength. Imagine, instead of negative self-talk, you filled your mind with positive talk. Incorporating affirmations can help you change your outward view by addressing your inner thoughts.
Hire a family coach. Sometimes it is overwhelming to know where to start. A great place to start would be working with a family coach. They can help you set goals, empower you towards change, and help you find the resilience within you.
Resilience is an important quality to cultivate, and it is already in you. We will all continue to face challenges every day, and it is up to us how we will let them shape our future. Those small and simple steps we take every day will help us strengthen that resilience that is inside you. The strength that will help you face challenges and rise and recognize just how brave and strong you truly are.
If you are reading this and it resonates with you and aren’t sure where to start, Aspen Family Wellness Center has amazing Life Coaches that can help you get to where you want to be. Sign up on our website for a coaching session.