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Building Resilience – Strategies for Coping With Life’s Challenges

3 min read

Psychologists have identified four core components of resilience as being essential: connection, wellness, healthy thinking and finding meaning. Achieving this can begin by prioritizing relationships over other activities or identifying any irrational thinking while emphasizing prosocial behaviors such as helping others.

Resilient individuals also focus on what they can control and seek hope in times of adversity, while children can learn resilience from watching how adults and other role models react when faced with difficulty.

1. Practice self-compassion

Every life can bring unexpected turns and challenges, from minor setbacks such as rejection for employment to major tragedies such as grieving a loss or dealing with life-changing illness. All experiences can be emotionally draining and lead to feelings of stress, anxiety and fear – but how individuals respond can make all the difference in how well they cope.

Resilience mindsets can help people cope more effectively with adversity and maintain a more positive outlook. Practice self-compassion, developing emotional strength, cultivating supportive relationships, adopting a growth mindset, increasing confidence and self-reliance are all effective ways of building resilience; but it should be noted that resilience is not something one is either born with or learns; rather it is something which must be fostered over time.

2. Nurture supportive relationships

Everyday life presents us with challenging situations – from stressful meetings at work to insensitive comments from acquaintances – which require effective resilience skills for us to cope effectively with.

Researchers have explored what factors contribute to resilience. Some personal characteristics seem to increase it, such as positive emotion and social support; however, others, like self-efficacy and flexibility may backfire in certain contexts.

Maintaining optimistic beliefs and a growth mindset are also essential. Effective coping strategies, problem-solving capabilities and maintaining a sense of control are also necessary for maintaining supportive relationships; joining clubs or volunteering may help individuals develop these relationships more quickly.

3. Maintain a positive mindset

Resilient mindsets involve self-compassion, positive thinking and gratitude. Resilient individuals prioritize relationships and social connections while remaining flexible in their thinking and behavior. Resilient individuals understand change is part of life but have control over their outcomes by recognizing strengths that align with values and passions.

Resilience can be learned. Self-compassion, supportive relationships and seeking professional help when necessary can all help develop resilience to prepare ourselves better for life’s trials. What are some other strategies you have found effective?

4. Communicate effectively

Resilience requires practicing self-care and building strong social connections. Furthermore, communicating effectively is also key in maintaining a positive mindset and finding solutions to challenges.

At times of great hardship, it’s easy to focus on what’s going wrong rather than on all that’s good in one’s life. Reframing negative thought patterns and encouraging a growth mindset are great ways to build resilience; helping individuals see setbacks as temporary roadblocks rather than permanent barriers that cannot be surmounted.

Individuals should strive to build their confidence and self-esteem, which will allow them to face new challenges head on. This can be accomplished through challenging negative self-talk, building self-esteem and tracking progress.

5. Get professional help

Even those who appear resilient at times need help managing life’s stresses on their own. If this is happening to you, reaching out for guidance and support from mental health professionals could be beneficial.

Building resilience doesn’t involve dispensing with difficulties that arise, but rather encouraging individuals to learn how to cope and find meaning from their experiences. Research suggests there are various elements which contribute to an individual’s ability to overcome difficulties, including an internal locus of control (the belief they control their own fate), social support, healthy coping techniques and actively searching for moments of awe such as found in art, nature, space or religion – as well as having an overall healthy and stable lifestyle – which all play an integral part. Most of these factors lie within our reach – giving us control of much more of these factors than we think!

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