Strength to overcome the overwhelming
Major disruptions are a "gotcha"
we all experience at one time or another in our lives. For
some, these hard times come frequently - the impact is overwhelming
and recovery, if it comes at all, can be painfully slow. Others
show resilience and are admirably able to glide through these
times fairly easily, bouncing back to a normal life again
quickly. Resilience - the strength required to adapt to change
- acts as our internal compass so we can resourcefully navigate
When unexpected events turn life upside down, it's the degree
to which our resiliency comes into play that makes these "make
or break" situations an opportunity for growth. The good
news is that each of us has the capacity to reorganize our
lives after a disruption and to achieve new levels of strength
and meaningfulness. In fact, life disruptions are not necessarily
a bad thing because they help us grow and meet future challenges
in our lives.
It's easy to feel vulnerable in the midst of chaos because
of not knowing what lies ahead. But learning how to adapt
during chaos strengthens your ability to meet stresses in
the future. It's a lot like a bone that was once fragile or
broken, and is now strong from being used.
So how can you learn to become more
Learning how to put closure to previous life experiences
is often key for bouncing back. In addition, developing resilience
depends on many factors. Let's take a look at 7 key characteristics
of people who demonstrate resilience during life's curve balls.
A Sense of Hope and Trust in the
Resilient people rely on their belief in the basic goodness
of the world and trust that things will turn out all right
in the end. This positive attitude allows them to weather
times when everything seems bleak and to look for and accept
the support that is out there. This approach toward the world
gives them the ability to hope for a better future.
Interpreting Experiences in a New
The ability to look at a situation in a new way (a skill called
"reframing") can minimize the impact of a difficult
situation. Resilient people take a creative approach toward
solving a problem, and don't always use an old definition
for a new challenge.
A Meaningful System of Support
One of the best ways to endure a crisis is to have the support
of another person who can listen and validate your feelings.
Knowing that others care and will come to our support lessens
feeling isolated, especially when tackling a problem alone.
It's important to choose people you trust. Don't be surprised
if it takes several friends, each of whom can provide different
kinds of support. Resilient people aren't stoic loners. They
know the value of expressing their fears and frustrations,
as well as receiving support, coaching, or guidance from friends,
family, or professionals.
A Sense of Mastery and Control Over
You may not be able to predict the future, but you can tackle
a problem instead of feeling at the mercy of forces outside
of your control. Resilient people know that ultimately their
survival and the integrity of their life values depend on
their ability to take action rather than remain passive. Tough
times call for you to tap into your own sense of personal
Self-Reflection and Insight
Life's experiences provide fertile ground for learning. Asking
yourself questions that invite introspection can open a door
to new understanding and appreciation of who you are and what
you stand for. Giving voice to your thoughts and feelings
can invite insight and help transform the meaning of a problem
into something useful. Resilient people learn from life situations,
and do not succumb to punishing themselves because of decisions
made in the past.
A Wide Range of Interests
People who show resilience in the face of adversity are those
who have a diversity of interests in their lives. They're
open to new experiences and ideas. Because their lives are
rich, they can use their variety of experiences to find relief
from the single mindedness and worry which often accompanies
Sense of Humor
Have you ever had a wry laugh during a difficult situation?
The ability to see the absurdity, irony, or genuine humor
in a situation stimulates our sense of hope and possibility.
Humor has both psychological and physical benefits in relieving
stress because it encourages a swift change in your perception
of your circumstances - and when your thoughts change, your
3 Tactics To Manage Life's Curve Balls
It's helpful to temporarily
remove yourself physically or mentally from a difficult
situation. You can take a weekend trip, read a book, watch
an engrossing movie, talk to a friend, take a walk or get
some other physical exercise. Diversion gives you distance
from a problem so you can come back to again and see it
in a new light.
- Stay In Control
No matter what, there are
aspects to your life that you do still have some ability
to control. Engage in every day activities like cleaning
your house, feeding the dog, watering your plants, and paying
your bills. Staying in control of those things that you
can control can give you a needed sense of relief and purpose.
- Go Easy On Yourself
If dealing with life's upsets
were easy, everyone would be an expert. Give yourself the
grace of knowing you are doing the best you can given where
you are in your life right now. Check in with yourself frequently
and ask, "What can I appreciate about myself right
now?" Difficult situations are prime time for shoring
up your inner resources.