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I think we can all agree that life is a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows, even if you consider yourself to be a happy person. It is inevitable that you will encounter challenges at some point along your journey. These experiences may bend you, but they do not have to break you. Whenever you come across a difficult situation, you have two choices: you can either let your emotions get the best of you and become paralyzed by fear, or you can uplift yourself from the negative and transform pain into possibility.

When faced with a tragedy, a natural disaster, a health concern, relationships, work, or school problems, resilience is how well a person can adapt to the events in their life.  A person with good resilience can bounce back more quickly and with less stress than someone whose resilience is less developed.  Psychologists have long studied these issues.  Resilient people do not wallow or dwell on failures, they acknowledge the situation, learn from their mistakes, and then move forward.

Don’t get me wrong, being a resilient person is not an easy feat. However, I believe that all of us have the power to develop a resilient mindset; just like a muscle, it needs to be conditioned and strengthened every single day.

Sometimes it takes hitting your emotional threshold, which I like to call rock bottom, before you can tap into your personal resilience. This is how I came to discover my own strength.

Everybody has resilience.  It is just a question of how much and how well you put it to good use in your life.  Resilience does not mean the person does not feel the intensity of the event or problem. Instead, it just means that they have found a pretty good way of dealing with it more quickly than others.  Everyone can learn to increase their resilience abilities.

There are many ways you can increase resilience.  Having supportive relationships in your life and with your family and friends seems to be an important foundation according to much research.  Good, positive relationships help a person with reassurance and encouragement when times get tough and seem to help support a person’s ability to rebound more easily after a difficult event or problem in their life.  Relationships are not just important within the family, but outside the family too. Having a strong network of friends is a valuable component of building better resilience. Strong social networks appear to be a key foundational building block for this skill to increase in your life.

Building better resilience takes time, effort, commitment, and focus. It will not just happen to you overnight, and it won’t just happen to you if read a book about resilience or begin work with a therapist. It’s a process that will take months to learn and master. Don’t be frustrated by this, because unlike your eye color or height, resilience is not a trait but rather a skill that you can readily enhance with patience and training.

How we view adversity and stress strongly affects how we succeed, and this is one of the most important reasons that having a resilient mindset is so important. The fact is that we’re going to fail from time to time: it’s an inevitable part of living. We make mistakes and occasionally fall flat on our faces. The only way to avoid this is to live a shuttered and meager existence, never trying anything new or taking a risk. Few of us want a life like that!

Overall, resilience gives us the power to overcome setbacks, so that we can live the life we’ve always imagined.

Rock bottom ended up being the foundation upon which I rebuilt my entire life. From the traumatic events in my life, I discovered that there were recurring patterns of strategies that I used in order to be resilient. For example, I learned how to make friends with my pain and heal my emotional trauma through yoga, dance, and meditation. There were a lot of moments when I thought, “Why me?” or “Life isn’t fair.” However, through it all, my bounce-back ability remained strong. I refused to define myself by my pain. Instead, I took action to create a new reality for myself. It may not have been the reality that I asked for, but nevertheless, I made it work. I became a new version of myself, one that was stronger and wiser. I like to think of myself as a “resilience junkie”, a woman who is addicted to thriving through adversity- the Suburban Goddess Mom.

 

 

 

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