Update: More important information on why resilience is so important.
How Can We Become More Resilient?
It is imperative that we strive to become more mature and resilient in order to have the best coping skills to deal with what the world throws our way. We are not always in control of the situation. So, what is our recourse? How can we become more resilient?
Stressful times call for intentional measures.
There is little doubt that most of us live with a great deal of stress in our lives. The “crazies” of the world are constantly in the news causing the daily newscasts to be filled with events of chaos and even horror.
Even in our well-planned and meticulously scheduled daily life, the chaos enters to upset our plans, increase the difficulty in meeting our goals, and upset our well-modulated, joyful lives.
How can we develop the resilience needed to thrive in this environment?
The buzzword these days is the term “resilience.” But what does that mean? Mayo Clinic explains, “resilience is your ability to adapt well and recover quickly after stress, adversity, trauma or tragedy.”
The more resilient you are, the better off you are to face life’s challenges. If you possess less resilience, you may be more apt to become overwhelmed, use unhealthy coping strategies, and develop mental health issues.
4 Ways to Increase Your Resilience:
- Having a good support system and maintaining positive and encouraging relationships is a good start. Interaction with positive people improves our own self-image and we are more apt to maintain an individual positive attitude as well.
- Learning to make realistic plans and developing the capacity to bring these plans to fruition improves our self-image and readies us for the onslaught of negativity that may come our way.
- Learning to manage our feelings and impulses in a healthy and socially acceptable manner helps us develop confidence in our own strengths and abilities. And readies us for the negativity we may encounter.
- Developing problem-solving skills in order to cope with the challenges we all face is a move in the right direction. Thinking through how to react with carefully thought-out scenarios can help us envision the outcome we desire.
Actions of People Who Become Resilient
- Resilient people learn to make realistic plans and develop the capacity to carry out those plans. This increases our confidence in our own strengths and abilities.
- With good coping skills and improved cognitive skills, we increase our resiliency and are able to adapt to unexpected trauma or difficulties that may enter our lives.
- Those who are more resilient have learned to move past obstacles and challenges in a healthy way – to weather the storms and unexpected trials of life.
How do you react to even a minor financial loss or a change of plans?
For instance, if a negligent driver smashes your front fender, do you explode, implode, think your life is over, rave and rant, throw a pity party, and lose days, weeks of joyful living? Or can you rise to the occasion after the first indignant surge of anger, make rational decisions, cope with the losses, and move on?
As we develop into more resilient individuals, we remember our history.
We recall that in an exceptionally bad time, we may have lost a family member or friend to death. Or we may have been deserted by those we had depended upon? We recall how God sustained us, put a light on our path, and guided us to move on in faith. He was ever-present.
So, remembering our history, we should be stronger, more resilient, and quicker to return to joyful human beings – because we have grown more mature in our faith in God, more stable in our thinking, more mature in our actions, and have shown an increase in stability and wisdom with every interaction of life.
Spending time in the Scriptures, reading the promises of God to never forsake us, and finding peace in the constancy of His presence, are the elements most needed in building the foundation of resiliency in our lives.
The presence of Jesus in our lives, gives us wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, and hope.
When we believe and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, we have a constant companion encouraging us and helping us be resilient in our everyday lives. He helps us develop into the strong, resilient, purpose-filled, productive, kind, and loving individuals that the world needs now.
Why is Resilience so Important? Why is life so hard? Why, even when we set goals and take extraordinary care to prepare for unexpected bumps in the road, why then are we left feeling completely destroyed when it all falls apart?
Perhaps it is a scholarship that was needed in order to obtain the right degree. Missed it by a hair. Or maybe the plans with that ‘perfect person” suddenly dissolved with no more than “I don’t think marriage is right for me at this time.” Or perhaps it’s your junior year in high school, your family transfers to another state, and your anxiety and disappointment are dismissed with a “you’re young, you will adjust.”
Name it, we all suffer losses that change our plans, burst our bubble, dissolve us into a blob of tears, despair, hopelessness, completely devoid of purpose, direction, and even the will to go forward.
Enter resilience. Actually, we have been developing this spirit of resilience – of bouncing back – and even bouncing back stronger than ever – throughout our lives to some degree. There may be a lull, a time of weeping and despair, a poor me period, and, with some, even a depression that may need professional care. The hurt is real. The pain is excruciating. Now is the time – the time to nourish that little sprout of resilience.
What is Resilience?
Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, unforgiveness, or other significant sources of stress. It may include irrational fear.
Recovery must include analyzing the loss, developing a plan of survival, and developing a pathway not only of recovery but of a soaring spirit. We recognize the capacity for renewal that we have when we commit our lives to God.
This is not to downplay the enormity of your hurt, your loss, or your setback. It is just to remind you that you have the gift of resilience within – and have been developing it all your life.
How to Be Resilient
Being resilient when recovering from a loss, a defeat, a debilitating injury, or a relationship gone south, has formed you into a person with a stronger character than you may realize.
Having experienced this, we are more ready to face the storms, and take a few risks in our careers or relationships, while relying on that inner strength. And because we no longer live in constant and debilitating fear, we step forward to a higher plane, a place of reward.
3 Ways to Increase Resilience in Your Life
- Give yourself time following a painful blow to withdraw and rest, determine the depth of your loss, have a good cry, seek counseling, exercise, and eat well. Get rested, cleaned up, and rearranged. Then develop a plan, seek other options, and quit beating yourself up.
- This is a spiritual problem. You are a spiritual vessel. You have been attacked in a weak area of your person. Ask God to point out where you may need to forgive someone, and where you may need to make major changes in your life’s pathway. Take the time to invite him into every area of your life.
Be open to renewal, a change of plans, and perhaps a change in your spiritual life that will include receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Therein lies the power of optimal resilience – a whole new lifestyle and purpose. And it is there that deep joy, forgiveness, and fellowship are found.
- So, what determines the level of our ability to not only survive a crisis but to soar higher with resilience?
Do we face failure, loss, and the change in direction with fear? Or do we draw upon our faith? Jesus is the answer.
The Bible is filled with true stories of men and women who faced similar challenges. Jesus steps in and, with him as their helper, the ability to turn their diminishment and sorrow into a purposeful plan, filled with strength and promise, began to soar.
Resilience, buoyed by our faith, adds joy and purpose to our lives. Philippians 1:6: “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” What a promise – for all eternity.
If you would like to find this faith in Jesus Christ, we invite you to watch the GREAT NEWS FOR YOU Video on this page.