Bounce Back Better: How to Build Resilience to Beat Life’s Ups and Downs
Unfortunately, ups and downs are part and parcel of life’s trajectory, and while you can’t always protect yourself from difficult and challenging experiences thrown your way, you can develop tools and strategies to help you become better prepared to deal with them. If you find the stress of everyday life overwhelming, striving to become more resilient can help you overcome setbacks and bounce back from adversity.
At times, when it feels like everything is against you, it’s important to remember that we all face hardships, but how you handle them is up to you. Think about how you reacted when you were burdened with a recent blow or knock-back. Did emotion engulf you? Or fear of the unknown grind you to a halt? Or did you embrace the challenge and face it head-on? How you react to life’s adversities is a good indicator to how well you can deal with them.
Fortunately, a person is not inherently “resilient” or “not resilient”, as resilience describes a set of skills developed through practice- which is good news for those of us who want to sail through setbacks with less stress. The following tips to help you achieve this focus on the ability to rethink adversity as an opportunity to learn, as well as ways to engage in strategies to manage stress:
Change your mindset
Remember thoughts aren’t facts, so change your thinking and be mindful that although at times, thoughts can feel very real, they do not define you or what you experience in life. It’s easy to get stuck in a pattern of negative thinking, so distance yourself from these thoughts as they only exacerbate feelings of sadness and interfere with your motivation to move forward. Alternatively, you can trade this for a more positive mindset, using words such as ‘challenges’ and ‘opportunities’ instead of ‘problems’.
Learn from your mistakes
Founder of Apple, Steve Jobs once said, “Every successful person has failed, numerous times. Most of them have failed a lot more often than we have. That’s why they’re successful now.” Every mistake has the ability to teach you something valuable, and failure can be a chance to build resilience with the knowledge that you can deal with whatever might happen.
Practising gratitude has a wealth of benefits- it improves wellbeing, helps to reduce depression and anxiety, and increases self-esteem. According to research, writing down three things you’re grateful for each day can actually change the structure of your brain. When we practice gratitude our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, ultimately making us feel good.
Rather than trying to tackle everything, accept that some things are out of your control. By identifying thoughts that hold you back from treating yourself more kindly, you can swap self-criticism with self-compassion. Self-care is the core of self-worth, and protects against stress and burnout. A resilient brain is one that is well-nourished and looked after.
Researchers in India have found that those who regularly practiced mindfulness also demonstrated the highest levels of resiliency. Slowing down to notice your surroundings decreases your feelings of being overwhelmed and therefore, helps you to face problems in your stride with patience rather than cracking under pressure.
Nurture your relationships
When life gets tough- the tough get talking. Whether it’s a close friend or loved one, having a strong support network can make all the difference to help you bounce back quickly from difficult experiences. Get better at letting people in, and call on support when you need it most. Resilient people aren’t afraid to ask for help and understand that their network is particularly important in times of hardship.
Invest in therapy
One of the best ways to identify behaviours and thought patterns that aren’t serving you, and construct more positive self-narrative, is to speak to a therapist or life coach. Therapy should not be reserved for when things are really bad, but rather it’s there to stop things from getting bad in the first place. At WellBe, we are here to do just that, whether you want someone to talk to, ask for advice or need help.
Written by Lexi Hale-Jones
WellBe is spearheading the way to a brighter future for corporate wellness. Our innovative portal is scientifically designed and tailored to each individual employee to improve their wellbeing. We specialise in a range of services from coaching and therapists, to meditation and reading materials. Our aim is to reduce workplace stress that costs UK businesses £42 billion per year. Get in touch with us by visiting our site wellbe.global for more information.