Occasionally I like to delve into words and their meaning. “Resilience” has always stuck out to me as a beautiful word and a unique concept.
noun re·sil·ience \ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s\
- 1: the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
- 2 : an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change
Starting with the definition above from Merriam-Webster, let’s explore what resilience is and how we could integrating into our live to combat mental illness, grief, or depression. I like to look at resilience as a tool to handle the ups and downs of life’s unexpected turns. I feel like the word is often used on anti aging ads, or in botany books explaining types of hearty trees. Resilience is an attribute I hope to continue to cultivate in my life. Here are some tips on how to make yourself more resilient:
- Don't blame yourself for everything. When life throws a curveball, resilient people don't waste energy beating themselves up. Acknowledge what is within your control to fix--and what isn't. Remember that you're best served if you focus on moving forward.
- Reach out. Seek out and surround yourself with supportive people. Anxiety, fear, and loneliness make stress more debilitating; resilient people fight the urge to isolate. One study found that among assault survivors, one of the most important predictors of recovery was social support.
- Accept help. Know that there is true strength in admitting you can't handle it all alone. Don't be afraid to ask for the support you need. When you feel overwhelmed, delegate. Most importantly, don't feel guilty about it! Needing and receiving help is part of the human experience--and you'll likely have a chance to pay it forward.
- Make peace with the past. Past hurts can take a huge toll on your everyday existence if they are left unprocessed and unresolved. Take some time to sift through your list of grievances and find some peace. Forgiveness is not about the other person--it's about you. You owe it to yourself to let go and move on.
- Make sleep a top priority. Sleep has a huge impact on our mental state and coping abilities. Aim for seven or eight hours of sleep a night and practice good bedtime habits. As a result, you will tend to experience fewer stress-related physical complaints and are less likely to suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and obesity.
- Get moving. Resilient people know that they think, behave, and function more effectively when they use their bodies for what they were to designed to do: move. Whether it's a regular brisk walk, a stretch every hour, or a fitness class, prioritize keeping your body in good shape.
- Accept change. We often use up a lot of energy trying to plan and predict things we could never plan or predict. Highly resilient people are under no illusion that the world is predictable or within their control. Try to allow things to happen instead of making or forcing them to happen. Change is constant--and adaptability is key to living a happy and healthy life.
Resilience Tips: Huffington Post