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Resilience: What It Is & How To Cultivate It

Resilience: What It Is & How To Cultivate It

Cultivating resilience is a process that takes time

Ashley Saye

by Ashley Saye

We all experience difficulties in life. Some challenges are more traumatic than others, but we all have our own way of handling stress and adversity. Some people seem to 'bounce back' quickly after a difficult event, while others struggle for a long time. This ability to 'bounce back' is called resilience.

Resilience is the ability to adapt to difficult situations. When stress, adversity, or trauma strikes, you still experience anger, grief, and pain, but you're able to keep functioning — both physically and psychologically. However, resilience isn't about putting up with something difficult, being stoic, or figuring it out on your own. In fact, being able to reach out to others for support is a key part of being resilient.

How to cultivate resilience

Cultivating resilience is a process that takes time, but there are certain things you can do to build your resilience muscles: 

* Connect with others: As human beings, we are wired for connection. When we feel connected to others, we feel supported and cared for. This sense of connection can be helpful in times of stress. Reach out to your friends and family when you're struggling, or consider joining a support group. 

* Find meaning: A sense of purpose can help us get through tough times. If you've experienced a major loss or setback, ask yourself how you can use your experiences to help others who might be going through something similar. 

* Take care of yourself: A healthy lifestyle — eating nutritious food, getting regular exercise and getting enough sleep — can help reduce stress and promote resilience. It's also important to make time for activities that bring you joy. 

* Build self-esteem: People who have healthy self-esteem are better able to cope with stressful situations. Make an effort to surround yourself with positive people who will build you up instead of tear you down. 

* Develop problem-solving skills: When faced with a challenging situation, it can be helpful to have a toolbox of problem-solving skills to rely on. Some helpful skills include taking deep breaths, breaking down the problem into smaller pieces or seeking professional help.

Resilience is an important quality to cultivate in order to weather the storms of life — both big and small. The good news is that resilience is something that anyone can develop with some effort and intentionality. So if you're looking for ways to become more resilient, start by reaching out to your support network, taking care of yourself physically and emotionally, and building up your problem-solving skillset.