Last week we explored what to do to prevent set backs and breakdowns and looked at some behaviors and beliefs to increase our resilience. This week we continue in our quest to boost our resilience.
Have Healthy Habits
Adopting healthy habits is one of the quickest ways to boost your lust for life and even better it helps to reduce stress, anxiety and low mood. Eating loads of fruit and veg, drinking plenty of water and exercising at least three times a week will strengthen your resilience tenfold. Sleep is equally important and it’s vital that you get at least eight hours rest most nights. For more on exercise please read my article titled ‘New Year, New You: How to Exercise Your Way to Wellbeing’ and if you have trouble getting enough sleep I would check out Sleepio, a fantastic CBT based online course.
Knowing Your Reason Why
Having a clear reason why will both motivate and inspire you to lead a life of passion and, if tough times hit, will encourage you to keep going. For example, I chose to turn my breakdown into an opportunity to share what helped me. This reason why and purpose has given me direction at times when I would have otherwise been lost.
Plan Ahead and Be Prepared
Planning ahead is one of the best things we can do to ensure we approach life successfully. Being strategic in this way not only increases our chances of a positive outcome but streamlines life’s complexity into an organized flow. Having a backup plan if things go awry is also key so any curveballs can be navigated with ease. Ultimately, by planning ahead and being prepared, you will feel more in control which is critical when increasing your resilience.
For more on both problem solving please read my article titled ‘How to navigate any problem with ease’ and for more on creating goals please see my article titled ‘How to turn your dreams into reality’ – these two articles will walk you through calmly facing life’s obstacles and the process of creating goals which will help you to tailor your problem solving in a way that breaks things down into logical manageable steps as with any goal.
Have High Self-Belief!
I found this challenging at first but having insanely high self-belief is a must if you want to achieve your goals and increase your resilience. When setbacks happen – as they inevitably will – believing that you can and will achieve what you want is essential. Try listening to a self-belief hypnosis CD and visualize achieving your goals, believing that you have everything you need to make your dreams a reality.
Reward and Pamper Yourself
When you do achieve a win go ahead and reward yourself! Do something fun, exciting or even indulgent, ensuring the reward is in proportion to your achievement. If you are depressed getting dressed might warrant a reward, on the other hand if you are happy you just got your diploma, meeting your friends over drinks to celebrate might be just the thing.
If you are stressed make sure you pamper yourself. Go for a country walk, read your favorite book, have a hot chocolate or treat yourself to a professional massage.
Be Persistent and Never Give Up
Having grit is vital to maintaining high levels of resilience but never giving up is not to be confused with ignoring signs of stress and ‘pushing through’ – which ultimately leads to burn out. True grit is two fold; it involves the day to day hard work necessary to achieve your dreams and a stubborn nature that ensures you persist, even when it seems you are making little progress. It was grit that made me determined to endure learning to touch type and gain my two diplomas.
Accept Life Is A Mixed Bag
Once I accepted that life was a mixed bag things became much easier. I started to relax and resisted the temptation to want everything to be perfect and when things did go wrong I was able to shrug my shoulders and not let it get to me as much. This is invaluable when handling life’s ups and downs.
Remain Calm and Rational
When everything seems to be falling apart it’s important to remain calm and rational. This is very much easier said than done but what helped me was to practice deep breathing and, once calmer, objectively assess the situation, formulating an action plan moving forwards.
Be Flexible and Adaptable
This goes hand in hand with remaining calm and rational, after all you can’t be rational and formulate a new action plan if you’re so inflexible you can’t handle change. When the unexpected happens you need to be able to be flexible in your approach – what counts is that you arrive where you want to be.
Dogmatically using a strategy which has proved to be unsuccessful is foolish but it is easily enough done when you are convinced if you just try harder it will work. It is far better to adopt a different approach than to give up because your plan to date has been unfruitful. In being both flexible and adaptable you will ensure that you are agile enough to remain resilient.
Stay tuned – next week we look at the final installment of the behaviors and beliefs that will help boost our resilience.
Do you have healthy habits? Do you plan ahead and have a high level of self belief? Which of these steps to improved resilience do you relate to most and how have they helped you? Which steps would you like to adopt? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.