How quickly can you recover from experiencing difficulties? From being able to get up and carry on after you’ve fallen over?
Life will come with many twists and turns, jumps and falls. Some challenges will be easier to overcome than others. Each event affects us all differently, ‘bringing a unique flood of thoughts, strong emotions and uncertainty’. Nonetheless, humans naturally adapt well to life-changing and stressful situations. For this, we can thank resilience.
If you consider the idea of someone close to you passing away, the idea can seem scary, frightening and be deeply upsetting. But if you’ve had anyone close to you pass away, you know that after a moment or two, your brain starts ticking again. It starts replanning your future without the person. It invents new coping mechanisms and guides you through life though a slightly different pathway. Again, this is because humans are resilient.
The road to resilience us likely to involve considerable emotional distress. Through encountering a range of stressful experiences, one can start to learn how to better adapt and deal with various challenges and situations.
‘Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. As much as resilience involves "bouncing back" from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.’
This pandemic, COVID-19, has truly tested people’s resilience. We’ve all been forced to cope in a new and unknown environment. We’ve had to cope with the constant threat of a virus around us, isolating from our beloved family and friends, and putting most of normal life on hold. All these things go against the internal human instinct of working, interacting with people and having a purpose in life.
So, how can you increase your capacity for resilience?
There are a few key aspects. Prioritise real relationships, take care of your body and mind, find purpose and keep things in perspective.
Focus on finding trustworthy and compassionate friends and family members, and building relationships with them. Often a traumatic or difficult experience can lead people to isolating themselves but this is not usually the best way to heal. You need people around you - and real people. Not social media connections.
Self-care is a legitimate practice! Practice healthy eating and sleeping habits. Try to keep up with a form of regular exercise and spend some time alone with yourself occasionally. Alone time is important for reflection and evaluation of one’s life.
Help others, be proactive and work towards your goals. Studies have shown that those who find a purpose in life; do better and live longer. Whether your purpose is to wake up everyday to spend time with your grandchild or to go fishing to feed your family, find something which keeps your soul alive.
And finally, accept change. It is a part of life. Accepting circumstances is the first step towards progress. Keep things in perspective - you might not be able to change the stressful event, but you can change how you interpret and respond to it.
We hope this article helps you.