Thursday, 2 July 2015

10 ways to be more resilient in life

Resilience is important for a healthy and happy life. It's a way of bouncing back from the bad days or trying times or whatever kind of stuff life throws at us.

I went to a workshop recently with Liggy Webb on resilience and one of the other people attended it described it as Invisible Armour.

Liggy works for the United Nations and advises people all over the world who have suffered trauma on how to be more resilient and she has written books too. She had also had open heart surgery six weeks before the event and yet she was there with her hair blow dried, in heels. Inspirational!

She shared 10 guiding principles to resilience and I'd like to share them here today.

  • Take a journey of self discovery
Actually start to think about who you are, your strengths and weaknesses. Know what you are good at and embrace more of that, work on your bad tendencies (or avoid them). This is useful in many ways, at work - you may choose to avoid tidying like I do and let another member of staff do that, but to take on more public speaking in exchange. Play to your strengths.

You could apply this at home too. If you are great at organising but not so keen on cooking, try and divvy up the tasks.

Also, sometimes we can be surprised by what we are good at. Why not ask someone? A friend, a colleague, a family member. It can be scary to do this, but to embrace all of life sometimes you need to take a risk.
  • See the glass half full
You have probably heard this a million times, but positive thinking does make a huge difference to your life.

If you wake up thinking today is going to be awful, you're tired and stressed and hate things, then it probably will become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Try saying 'today will be a great day' to yourself every morning. Or as many mornings as you can.
  • Take emotional control
Imagine we have two wolves inside of us, always fighting. One is full of negative emotions and hatred, one is strong and healthy and full of good. Only one can win.

Which one? The one you feed.
  • Change for the better
Change can be difficult especially if it includes grief or loss but it is a natural process, which everyone deals with differently and at different times.

The standard cycle is: Denial - Anger - Depression - Bargaining (or What If) - Acceptance which came out in a book called 'On Death and Dying' by Elizabeth Kubler- Ross.

Everyone tends to move through these stages but not at the same time and sometimes people go back and forward. Be kind to yourself and others if they are experiencing this.
  • Cope well with conflict
Try and avoid being combative but differing opinions and thoughts can lead to growth. Try and remember this.
  • Embrace Opportunities
There usually is a silver lining, try saying yes more. Be brave.

  • Look after yourself
When on an aeroplane you have to put your own mask on first before helping others. This is true of many things - you can't be the best you for others without looking after you first.
  • Make positive connections
Try hard to avoid isolation as this can be a key factor in being resilient. Loneliness is a huge issue for mental health. Join a scheme like Arts on Prescription, volunteer in places, just try to get out of the house at some point.
  • Keep going
Winston Churchill has a great quote "If you're going through hell, keep going"
  • Create a vision
Finally we all need hope. Having something to work towards no matter how simple is really good for the spirit.

One thing that kept coming through with all of these is how helpful being grateful can be to your wellbeing. Try thinking of three things today you are grateful for. It might be as simple as the sun is shining, you had a great sandwich or as big as a happy marriage or plenty of job satisfaction. The more you can find to be grateful for, the better.

Studies have shown that being grateful every day for 30 days can make you 25% happier.

That's worth a try isn't it?

Thanks for reading,


No comments:

Post a Comment