You can bounce back from the tough times in life by using any number of skills that help improve your resiliency. Here’s a quick list of some of the most useful tips with some helpful links included.
Remember that most of these are a practice. You’re not expected to master them overnight. But go ahead and pick out one or two – or fourteen! – to try.
1. Accept what is.You’ve got a bad situation in front of you and it’s time to become completely honest with yourself and really seewhat is happening. No more denial or wishful thinking that it will get better. Take away all the emotion from it, identify the problem, and accept that it is reality.
2. Firmly grasp the reality that change is a part of life.
You struggle against change. You expend a lot of energy making sure that change doesn’t happen in your life. Save your energy for better things and accept that change truly is a normal part of life. Expect it.
3. Learn to be an optimist.
Optimism and pessimism are ways you explain why things happen to you. Being optimistic allows you to bounce back because it helps you focus on the positive and not predict the negative. For a terrific article on this, please go here.
4. Learn to be self-compassionate.
The pioneer of self-compassion research, Kristin Neff, suggests you do these three things: a.) Be kind to yourself (stop the inner criticism), b.) Remember that, as a part of the human race, we’re all flawed in some way and apt to make mistakes, and c.) Practice mindfulness. Check the links for more information.
5. Learn to let things go.
Grasping tightly to a belief, behavior, or material thing only drains your energy and narrows your focus onto that thing. In order to be resilient, you need flexibility and openness to options and opportunities.
6. Gather your posse.
Having friends and family who are close enough to rally around you in an emergency is essential. Make sure you have a good, stable posse at your disposal.
7. Even the darkest cloud can have a silver lining.
Always look for the lessons and gifts in adversity. Check out this great story.
8. Believe in post-traumatic growth.
When faced with trauma, a small number of people develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the majority of people bounce back naturally after a month or so, and the remaining people actually grow and benefit from the experience. How? The basics are being optimistic and looking for the lessons in their lives. Give it a try.
9. Find a mentor.
Researchers in childhood resilience know that the presence of only one caring adult in a child’s life can make all the difference. It can for you, too. Find someone you admire and trust and use them for guidance and loving support.
10. Remember that there is always more than one way to see a situation.
Although the problem in front of you may look dire, ask yourself if there is another way to look at it. Might it actually open up opportunities for you? Is it as big a problem as you think it is or are you magnifying it unnecessarily?
11. Think about kaleidoscopes.
When you look through a kaleidoscope, you see a beautiful pattern. It’s so pretty, you may not want to change it. But, eventually, you have to turn the dial. Suddenly there is a chaotic jumble in front of your eyes but then, magically, another beautiful pattern emerges. Life can be like this, too. So remember when things are jumbled in your life that they may be actually forming a brand new, beautiful image.
12. Give yourself a break.
It’s important to refresh both your body and mind. Remember to take physical breaks now and then. And remember that it’s okay to distract yourself from mental and emotional experiences like grief and rumination, too. Take a break.
13. Remember that you already are resilient.
As mentioned in #8 above, most people are naturally resilient and you are probably one of them. Just because you struggle for a bit doesn’t mean you’re not resilient. It means you’re human.
14. Common humanity.
Remember that you are a part of the human species and therefore quite likely to have some flaws and make mistakes. But everyone does. You are not alone in your experience of struggling with external or internal adversity.
15. You don’t have to like it.
You know what? Sometimes things really do suck. So, just because you need to be resilient doesn’t mean you have to like the situation you’re in. You can be accepting, open, and flexible without having to say that you like your current circumstances.
16. Look up.
Do you find that you keep your eyes to the ground a lot? Do something different – look up! You might see something you’ve never seen before.
17. Simply notice.
Feeling bad? Okay, but you don’t have to buy into your emotions. Just notice them. And withhold judgment about them or yourself.
18. Commit random acts of kindness.
Helping others generates positive emotions within you which then helps to expand your sense of possibilities in the world. Problem-solving a situation becomes much easier and you’ll find that positive emotions help exponentially with your ability to bounce back.