Resilience is the ability to bounce back emotionally from stressful situations and return to the emotional state we had before the stressful event.
It’s also the ability to face life’s challenges while maintaining reasonable peace of mind and continuing to function in everyday life, which requires inner strength and emotional stability.
Since life constantly creates challenges, this is a valuable trait, and fortunately, one that can be developed.
Here are some ways to do so:
1. Accept the present moment
Accepting the present moment is not resisting it.
Resistance can manifest through statements such as “I don’t deserve this,” “It shouldn’t have happened,” “He was supposed to understand,” “How did I end up here?”), or through behaviors such as complaining and crying about the circumstances.
This doesn’t mean we should do nothing about unwanted circumstances but that our approach better be result-oriented.
2. Give up complaining and venting
People love to complain and vent for a reason – there is something pleasant and liberating about it.
But such behaviors have a price – they paint everything black and fill us with negative energy and feelings of despair.
What’s mistakenly called venting (as it only creates more steam inside us) is motivated by the need to condemn those who we feel have wronged us and thus, instead of promoting a solution, it promotes anger and conflict.
(There’s a way to share your feelings constructively – you can find out about it more in my article “What’s the difference between sharing and ‘venting’?“)
3. Accept the limitations of others
When we don’t accept the limitations of others and insist they are capable of whatever we are, we are doomed to suffer.
Not everyone has the motivation, self-control, or self-awareness required to create a change, or they simply don’t want to – at least, not how you want them to.
And when you insist they need to change and are capable of changing, you remain depleted, frustrated, and bitter.
4. Accept the existence of opinions different from your own
I didn’t say love or adopt opinions different from your own, but accept the reality of their existence.
Try not to confuse the person with their opinions and give up judging and condemning someone based on their opinions.
5. Let go of resentment and grudges
It’s easy to hold others accountable for our life circumstances, speak about the wrongs they have done to us, condemn them, and insist they were capable of different behavior.
Even if it is true (and often it’s not) engaging in such matters is useless. It keeps us in the victim’s stance and fills us with negative energy.
6. Don’t expect yourself to be perfect, accept your humanity
Holding yourself to an unrealistic standard of perfection is extremely debilitating. It’s never being happy with yourself, only focusing on what’s wrong, and condemning yourself for every little mistake.
Instead, acknowledge your human imperfection while striving to improve where needed, and being good to yourself and others.
7. Respect your preferences, pace, and areas of interest
Meaning, respect who you are at your core instead of constantly trying to be someone else, as that will take away your power and self-love.
8. Create healthy boundaries
Healthy boundaries are the foundation for healthy relationships. And our relationships, in turn, greatly impact our mental and emotional state.
9. Treat yourself with respect
Be kind to yourself, and don’t let others treat you badly and carry on as if nothing is wrong.
10. Find ways to relax
We need our mind, spirit, and body to be healthy to face challenges.
Thus, it’s important to find healthy ways to relax, such as physical activity, mindfulness, reading books, gardening, cooking, painting, or nature walks (according to preference), and incorporate them into our daily lives.
11. Practice self-care
Make sure to eat sufficiently even when you don’t feel like it. Don’t starve yourself to lose weight, drink enough water, have enough sleep, and take care of your basic health needs.
Body treatments, such as massage, shiatsu, and acupuncture, can also help with relaxation and self-care.
12. Embrace uncertainty
I don’t think you can be resilient without accepting the fact that life never provides certainty for long.
So if you insist you are the kind of person who must have certainty, you will always be agitated about not having it.
There is more I could say on this topic, but start with one or two of the above and watch your well-being and resilience grow.