In our previous blog post, we highlighted the benefits of resilience. From greater creativity to increased self-appreciation, there are many advantages that come from being resilient.
This week, we’re taking it one step further to explore how you can develop resilience. Having the strength to bounce back after facing adversity is a skill
that you can actively develop. Here are a few ways to do it.
Find the positive
No one’s life is entirely free of problems or setbacks, so making this a goal is unrealistic. At the same time, every bad situation can have a silver
lining – even if it’s tiny in comparison to the downside.
One way to build resilience is to make it a habit to actively find the positive in every situation. For instance, if you are retrenched from your job,
maybe this is the nudge you needed to explore the new career path you’ve always secretly wanted to follow.
It’s not about pretending that your retrenchment isn’t painful or difficult; instead, it’s about focusing your energy on finding something positive
to take away from a negative situation.
Avoid making everything personal
When things go wrong, it can be easy to adopt a perspective of victimisation (why me?!) or self-blame (I’m just not good enough!).
With this kind of thinking, you can quickly become bogged down in despair or hopelessness.
If someone breaks up with you, you may view yourself as the victim (why can I never find someone decent?) or you may blame yourself for the
relationship falling apart (why didn’t I do X differently?). The reality is that you are neither a helpless victim nor entirely to blame.
Every relationship involves at least two people, so it’s not all about you: there are always external factors at play and others who are also responsible
for what happened. If you learn to accept this, it can help you view setbacks more objectively, acknowledge what went wrong and then move on.
Build your community
Difficult situations can seem less daunting if you can discuss them with someone, or even tackle the problem together. On the flip side, feeling alone
and isolated can magnify the challenges you’re facing.
Building strong ties with family, friends and neighbours can boost your resilience by creating a support network that you can rely on when times are tough.
This entails spending time together, sharing your highs and lows, and showing those in your life that you care for them.
Maintaining these bonds takes work – you can’t ignore a relationship and then expect someone to have your back when a problem arises – but the effort is
well worth it.
Embrace a healthy lifestyle
There are close ties between mental and physical well-being. If you fail to look after one side, there’s a good chance you’ll feel an impact on the other.
For example, the link between lack of sleep and stress means that cutting
down on sleep to work more on a project that’s stressing you out may actually do more harm than good.
On the plus side, this relationship means you can strengthen your resilience by taking better care of your physical health. This can take the form of simple
lifestyle changes – for example, making an effort to play badminton or football once a week, incorporating more homecooked meals into your diet, or
going to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual.
Making healthier lifestyle choices isn’t always easy – sometimes late-night TV and char kway teow are hard to resist. One way to ease the transition is
to set shared healthy living goals with you family or friends so you can work towards them together.
Leading a resilient life
Developing resilience takes effort. However, many of the ways to boost your resilience – such as finding the silver lining in situations, building strong
relationship and embracing healthy living – are themselves simply ingredients to leading a happy life.
Given the many benefits that come with being resilient, this is one skill that is definitely worth building up throughout your lifetime.