Resilience

Why finding the silver lining in life works best for resilience

Almost everyone goes through challenging, tough times. After having been negative in the past and viewing difficulty as having no redeeming qualities, to now being positive and seeking the silver lining, I can say that my approach now has infinitely helped my resilience. Indeed many who have faced adversity find this, that a large factor in building resilience is being able to see the positive side of life’s challenges.

 

When we seek to find the silver lining it helps us to not dwell on the negative, adds to our sense of life meaning and purpose (for example I believe my breakdown positively impacted the person I have become) and ultimately propels us forward. The silver lining of life’s trials has many forms, whether it be learning a life lesson, developing inner strength, developing character, changing the course of one’s life for the better, not taking life for granted, increasing intimacy with those we love or discovering who our true friends are in the first place.

 

For me, learning to seek the silver lining didn’t come naturally. It took a lot of conditioning to be positive to begin to recognize the benefits of life’s trials. Here are some soul seeking questions I asked myself so I could better understand the benefits to the challenges I experienced, I hope they will enable you to see some positives amongst the pain, however small.

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Why having a relaxation haven in your home releases stress and boosts resilience

Over the years I’ve come to believe that releasing tension is critical if we are to develop greater resilience. There are so many ways we can unwind, each extremely beneficial to our well being and resilience. One of the ways that has helped me is to create a relaxation haven in my home. A place to visualize, meditate and find calm.

 

For me this is my bedroom but it can be any room of your choosing, so long as it serves as a place where you can get away from it all. This needn’t be expensive so here are my top tips for creating a relaxation haven in your very own home.

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Why being brave will make you more resilient

On the surface bravery and resilience may not seem to have much in common. Does it not follow however, that having the courage to face scary situations will inevitably make you stronger? In my experience consistently facing our fears makes us stronger and more confident, so that when tough times hit, we know we will have more experience handling tough situations, thereby increasing our resilience.

 

But how do we consistently face what scares us? Below are some of my top tips for getting started on facing our fears.

 

  1. List activities you are scared of eg driving, cycling, conflict, heights

 

  1. List two ways to face your fear for each activity, one low fear option, one medium fear option and one high fear option

 

Eg

 

Driving – practicing with someone in the car with you (low fear), driving in rush hour with someone in the car (medium fear) and driving solo (high fear)

 

Cycling – cycling in a park with cycle paths (low fear), cycling in rough terrain (medium fear) and cycling on the road (high fear)

 

Conflict – asserting yourself over something small (low fear), bringing up a put down and asserting yourself to the person who said it (medium fear) and asserting yourself over something important (high fear)

 

Heights – going up steps with holes in them (low fear), going to the top of a tall building and looking at the view (medium fear) and skydiving (high fear)

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Is there ever a right time to give up? What to do when what you’re doing isn’t working

I’ve thought about this issue a lot over the years. What to do when you don’t seem to be making progress and you feel like nothing is working. The more I pondered the question as to whether there is ever a right time to give up, the more certain I became that if something is truly important to you, you owe it to yourself to keep trying.

 

This philosophy relates to goals more than relationships as, although I hold a similar view with relationships, ultimately, relationships need the commitment of two people to truly make things work in the long term. This isn’t to say that trying different strategies to save a relationship isn’t worthwhile, in fact I would advise you to do so, but in the end both people need to want to repair the relationship as a bare minimum.

 

In terms of goals, even (and perhaps especially) grand life goals – the type of goals that would genuinely be a dream come true – I firmly believe you need to have unrelenting grit. For example, one of my life goals is to have a book published. If after years of hard work I seemed to reach a dead end I may well want to give up and even if I didn’t, I might not be able to imagine that it would ever be published if I felt discouraged.

 

So what should I do?

 

I would rest and re-strategize.

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Do you believe in self-fulfilling prophesies? Here’s how to make them work for you!

Have you ever heard the expression, believe in yourself and others will too? I’ve always agreed with this saying, even when I found it incredibly hard to put it into practice. When others see high levels of self belief it is catching, as soon as you exert confidence and self belief others will often buy into your success too.

 

When you genuinely believe in yourself you recognize opportunities that align with your goals easier; you tend to have more perseverance, determination and grit in working towards your goals, consequently your confidence in a successful outcome becomes a self fulfilling prophesy!

 

How does this help you increase your resilience? Together with your reason why, if you believe you can and will achieve your goal, you’re more likely to view the future positively, thereby increasing your determination and grit to get back on track during difficult times.

 

Ways to foster greater levels of self belief:

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How finding your reason why will see you through tough times

One thing that was lacking during the toughest seasons of my life was my reason why. I lacked a clear incentive to recover beyond just wanting to feel better and so, without a clear idea of what I was recovering for, getting back on track was harder. Today I have many reasons why. My passion for creativity and writing and my goal to publish a book, my desire to excel in my career and one day buy a house and most important of all, my relationships with friends and family.

 

These reasons why have provided me with a greater level of determination to practice self care so that I avoid burn out and, when tough times have hit, have encouraged me to put all my energies into getting better through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, stress management, seeing friends and family and using positivity. Having a clear reason why, something that both inspires you and fills you with excitement for the future, will greatly increase your resilience when tough times hit, motivating you to move forwards towards a bright future.

 

Some common reasons why are:

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How to Stop Living Life as if it Were a Spectator Sport – Mini Series; Part Two

Do you ever feel as though life is passing you by and you are just going through the motions each day, surviving rather than walking into the future with a meaningful purpose?

 

One of the foundation blocks to fostering greater resilience is having clear goals and a purpose to work towards which will give you focus, direction and fulfilment, so that when tough times hit you have created a life of meaning and value – a life you want to fight to get back on track with!

 

In my article titled ‘How to Discover Your Passions and Reveal Your Life Purpose in 4 Easy Steps’ it talks of how discovering our passions ultimately lead to finding our life purpose…

 

Excerpt:

 

“Step One – Passion vs. Purpose

 

Although passion and purpose are often used interchangeably, there are in fact two very different things.

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How to Stop Living Life as if it Were a Spectator Sport – Mini Series; Part One

Do you ever feel as though life is passing you by and you are just going through the motions each day, surviving rather than walking into the future with a meaningful purpose?

 

One of the foundation blocks to fostering greater resilience is having clear goals and a purpose to work towards which will give you focus, direction and fulfilment, so that when tough times hit you have created a life of meaning and value – a life you want to fight to get back on track with!

 

In my article titled ‘How to Turn Your Dreams into Reality’ I look at how we can go from spectator to quarter back by investing just a little time to think about what we want out of life, then setting realistic and achievable goals that will take us towards our dreams for real.

 

Excerpt:

 

“Bill Copeland, a well respected author, once said “the trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” The truth is that in today’s society whereby instant communication is the norm with sites like Facebook, Hotmail and Twitter constantly vying for our attention, it can be challenging to sit down and assess what we want to achieve on a deeper level, let alone make time for those activities.

 

In Tony Hsieh’s book, Delivering Happiness, he pin points ‘perceived progress’ as an essential component of our overall happiness and, as the field of positive psychology develops, this principle is becoming widely accepted.

 

So how do we discover what we want to achieve? A good place to start is with our dreams. Often our dreams are a reflection of our inner most desires as the very word dream implies it is an unobtainable fantasy, so we tend to feel safe to imagine what we may otherwise think of as impossible.

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The Number 1 Secret of The Emotionally Strong

What comes to mind when you think of the emotionally strong? Someone with superhuman ability, and no need for help, who excels during difficulty and can achieve almost anything – no matter what is happening around them?

 

Well, you might be surprised to learn that the most strong amongst us excel, not because they have superhuman strengths and can do it entirely by themselves, but because they recognize when they need help and support and seek it early on before the situation has had the opportunity to get any worse.

 

So why do so many of us resist seeking help and support when difficulty arises?

 

In reality there are many reasons why someone might shy away from asking or accepting help. Below are the top reasons and how they are often counter-productive for those going through hardship.

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Why you might be missing out on a longer life!

Did you know that resilient people live longer, are healthier, are more successful, have happier relationships and generally kick ass? Not only do resilient people adapt to change and stressors easier but, as a result, they are less likely to face depression, which is steadily on the rise in both the UK and USA.

 

Fortunately the explosion of positive psychology throughout the world has meant that we are better understanding how to actively develop more resilience in advance of when difficulty emerges – which is exactly the area I have chosen to focus on within this month’s hot topic.

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