When faced with adversity in life, how do you cope? Do you bounce back from difficult times or do you seem to get stuck? Do you see stress as a major setback or an opportunity to grow?
Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties; to adapt and respond positively to stress. When faced with a tragedy, scare or problem, resilience is how well a person can adapt to the events in their life. A person with good resilience has the ability to bounce back more quickly and with less stress than someone whose resilience is less developed.
Everybody has resilience. It’s just a question of how much and how well you use it. Resilience doesn’t mean you don’t experience any pain or negative emotions as a result of the problem or trauma. Instead, it means you have developed the skills to deal with it quickly. For emotional eaters, cultivating resilience can be life-changing in healing emotional eating for good! If you have built your resilience, you are less likely to get stuck and turn to emotional eating for comfort when faced with adversity.
Everyone can build their resiliency. Like any skill, learning greater resilience comes with practice. Here are some ways to help build your resilience:
Physical exertion helps to counteract the effects of stress. Exercise can elevate our mood and increase motivation which gives us a more positive mindset. Feeling physically strong can help us feel mentally tough, too!
Relationships provide us with a support system. By having strong relationships, we have a strong support system we can rely on when things get tough. Knowing others have our backs can keep us positive and resilient against stress.
A study published in Journal of Personality and Individual Differences highlighted a link between mindfulness and resilience. The study found that mindful people can better cope with difficult thoughts and emotions without becoming overwhelmed or shutting down emotionally. Practicing mindfulness means acknowledging our feelings without judgment.
When life is difficult, it’s easy for us to be overly critical and hard on ourselves. But compassion, not criticism, facilitates greater resiliency. When things go wrong, try practicing self-care to show yourself love and compassion instead of beating yourself up.
Studies have shown that spiritual well-being and resilience are interrelated. Having a sense of meaning and purpose in life enables individuals to better deal with trauma. Being more spiritual doesn’t necessarily mean being more religious. Spirituality refers to the belief that you belong to something greater. Cultivate spirituality by meditating, practicing mindfulness, developing a personal belief system, volunteering for charity, and working towards understanding your own higher purpose.
Some people are naturally more resilient than others. These individuals tend to see challenges as opportunities, are able to maintain a positive outlook, and find meaning in the struggle. For others, it will take time, effort and commitment to build resilience and learn to have a more positive outlook. But that effort is totally worth it!
When you're resilient, adversity doesn’t get you down physically, emotionally, or psychologically – at least not for long!