Imagine that you are planning to climb Mount Everest. You know the route, you know all the potential dangers, but you can’t know exactly what is going to happen when you are there. How would you go about making sure that you reach the top? You would probably practice on smaller climbs first. Maybe you would find someone who has been there before to be a guide and mentor. You would want to set yourself up for success through training, learning, and preparation. And if something happens that is unexpected, you would have the tools to keep moving forward because you were prepared. This same concept can be applied to daily life and is how people who are resilient manage to bounce back from unexpected or traumatic events.
What is resilience?
Resilience is the psychological quality that allows some people to be knocked down by the adversities of life and come back at least as strong as before. Rather than letting difficulties, traumatic events, or failure overcome them and drain their resolve, highly resilient people find a way to change course, emotionally heal, and continue moving toward their goals. (Psychology Today)
How to build resilience
While there is no way that anyone can completely avoid difficulties and stress, it is possible to learn how to withstand and learn from difficult and traumatic experiences. There are some key strategies to building resilience:
- Build your connections. Having strong relationships with friends and family can make you feel less alone when times are tough. When people are suffering from trauma, they often isolate themselves. If you don’t have a current support system, try joining social groups such as book clubs or walking groups.
- Pursue a meaningful goal. People who are resilient dedicate themselves to something that gives their life meaning. Examples of such would be raising children, helping those less fortunate, or training for a marathon. People with a sense of purpose tend to accept that stress and pain may come with striving for their goals, but it will be worth it in the end.
- Focus on building physical hardiness. When you are stressed it can be easy to neglect your needs. Taking the time to ensure that you are eating healthy, staying active, and sleeping well provides you with the strong base you need when facing life challenges. Your body will be better prepared to deal with the stresses of your day if you don’t have to also worry about being tired and hungry.
- Establish a routine. Many people struggle with the sudden lack of structure and have difficulty staying on track through the day. By establishing a daily routine you can prevent yourself from focusing on negative thoughts and emotions, and instead will be concentrating on the positive things that are helping you move forward with your day.
Could you use help learning how to be more resilient?
At The Therapy Centre we have skilled Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychotherapists who effectively treat a variety of issues that may be difficult to process on your own, from everyday challenges to traumatic events with more lasting impact, like the death of a loved one, a life-altering accident, or a serious illness as well as anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.
At The Therapy Centre we are now offering Telehealth services including secure phone sessions and videoconferencing as well as in-person visits at our offices.
Our offices are located at 2525 Old Bronte Road in Oakville and 849 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton-just minutes from the QEW and easily accessible from Peel Region, Halton Region, Halton Hills, Stoney Creek and Niagara Region.
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