Becoming More Resilient

Jann FreedLeading, Living Leave a Comment

This post is for everyone dealing with the many stressors in life or setbacks such as professional and personal disappointments, divorce, illness, death of parents or friends, or any type of worry.  Unfortunately, we are living and working in uncertain times.  Learning to become more resilient can help us meet these challenges.

Recently I wrote a post on why resilience is critical and another post on why now is the time to become more resilient.  In this post, I am going to share some ways you can build your resilience.  The holidays can be accompanied with triggers that set off our emotions and cause us to perceive stress. Becoming more resilient can help deal with these triggers.

Adam Grant is an authority on resilience who co-authored with Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, the book Option B:  Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy.  According to Grant, “there is a naturally learnable set of behaviors that contribute to resilience.”  Others who study stress and resilience say it is important to think of resilience “as an emotional muscle that can be strengthened at any time.”

Here are some of the ways you can strengthen this “emotional muscle”:

  • Practice Optimism:  Optimism is part genetic and part learned.  Surround yourself with positive people and think positive thoughts.  It matters whom you hang around.  Both optimism and pessimism are contagious.
  • Rewrite Your Story:  Reframe the situation by observe what you are saying to yourself.  How can you rewrite the story in a way that you can learn from the situation and not be forever damaged by the situation.
  • Don’t Personalize It:  Remind yourself that a situation is not personal, pervasive, or permanent.  Don’t accept total blame for the situation, but remind yourself that several factors likely contributed to the outcome.
  • Remember Your Comebacks:  We often think of how others have it worse.  While that may be true, Grant says “you will get a bigger resilience boost by reminding yourself of the challenges you personally have overcome.”
  • Support Others:  Strong networks of friends and family help people cope with a crisis.  But research shows you get an even bigger resilience boost by giving support.  Reaching out and helping others is a way to enhance your own strength.  By focusing on others, you gain strength.

Now is the time of year to work on building your “emotional muscle.”

How well are you coping with the stressors in your life?

How could you be strengthening it using the above suggestions?

Which of the suggestions resonate most with you?