In life, many things go wrong, for instance:
Getting your heart-broken
Going through a divorce
Facing a natural disaster
Facing a miscarriage
Stress due to a job
Concern over a relationship
Chronic health issues
Mental or Physical illness
Among many many others…………………..
Adversity does not discriminate BUT we are alive and we are resilient.
Don’t feel like a victim: Suffering is a part of human life and we need to understand that
suffering is normal, it is NOT a sign that life has gone wrong, rather it is an ordinary part of our lives and we must learn to fight and be resilient.
People believe failure is not an option and perceive failure and rejection as a bad thing, but
not only is failure an option it is required to be resilient.
Resilience means you face life’s challenges and stressors, you bounce back up and doing so you become stronger and wiser hence improving the quality of your life. Being resilient makes you face life’s challenges, as a result you learn from your mistakes and learn not to avoid or run away from them.
We need to understand some character traits of individuals who are not resilient and what type of decision making and approach to life does not promote resilience. For instance when we are going through a tough time, say for example a divorce, people will say ‘ just don’t think about it, don’t talk about it, distract yourself’. Well, this is the worst advice you can give, because trying to suppress the stressor is likely to bring our attention more to it. It is in fact like the elephant in the room: you cannot ignore it. Instead we must accept life for what is it and move.
Comparison is the enemy of resilience. We all have that friend or two on social media who is always posting the perfect picture and living the perfect life. There is a possibility that this particular friend is in fact really leading a great life but every time you compare your life to another you are demeaning yourself and opening yourself up to negative emotions like anxiety, jealousy, sadness or even fear. This has happened not because your life is bad but because you are comparing the best Instagram MOMENTS of another persons life to your ENTIRE life. A picture can be worth a thousand words but never can it tell you the story of someone’s life.
Life will put us through difficult situations and we may often feel like going into a shell, locking the world away, but difficulties are to be expected, they are a sign that things are on track. There
will be haters and trolls there will be rejections but that does not mean life is ruined, rather it is a proof of the idea that life is happening and we need to be resilient.
What are the benefits of being resilient?
For starters, resilient individuals
- Manage stress better than others.
- They are more likely to feel pleasure.
- They are open to new experiences
- They welcome challenges that life throws at them, and – They experience happiness joy
- They stay socially connected.
Now one will ask how do I be resilient?
Strategies to be more resilient in life
- Pursuing meaning in life is resilience. It means changing something about our behaviour slowly and gradually. We must create meaningful experiences in life build new relationships knowing it may lead to failure, disappointment, rejection or even loss. Resilient individuals don’t shy away from undesirable outcomes instead they bounce back up.
- To be more resilient we need to change our behaviour and approach. For instance, we know exercise is good for our body and mind, but how many of us actually take time from our day to actually workout?
- To be resilient we need to commit to a MANAGEABLE & DOABLE behaviour change. The first step is TO START. Once we start, we have momentum. We can grow from there and become more Resilient. For example: Try to start with a 20 min walk. Build from there and when you miss that walk, Go easy on yourself. Don’t be self-critical, Don’t be down, Tell yourself you will be more determined and you will improve. You will be resilient tomorrow. This is a process and it is gradual.
- The focus must be on a meaningful pursuit in life. Resilient people get that life happens. They acknowledge human suffering is part of life and understand that terrible things happen in a human life. And that we all go through loss, death, pain, sorrow and suffering. That we are not entitled to a perfect life like we see on social media.
- To be more resilient we must choose what we give our attention and focus to. We must understand that there are things one can and cannot change in life and one must have the courage to accept the things one can’t change and move on with life.
- As humans we are hardwired to get hung up on negative things that happen in our lives and we take good times for granted. This is how humans have evolved to be risk adverse. This was integral to our survival. As cave men we need to asses threats hence we still hang on to stress. Our threat focus and stress response is permanently at a heightened state owing to our evolution. So in order to be resilient we need to train our brain to tune into the good in a similar manner. We need to find benefits in the worst of situations. We must accept the good in our life and make an intentional ongoing effort to tune into the good.
- The holy grail to be more resilient is to ask yourself if it is helping or harming me? This question will help you deal with loss stress and get out of situations that life throws at you and not dwell in darkness or go into a limbo. Welcome stress, take on the challenges in life. Learn from your mistakes, be more resilient aslife is journey and we need to enjoy the process.
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