Do you know someone who seems to cope better with change than other people? Somehow, this person embraces change while others fight it, sees possibilities where others see only problems, and remains cheerful and optimistic even in the face of uncertainty. This isn’t necessarily just down to personality. People who can do this have developed a skill: resilience. And the good news is that, because it’s a skill, you can develop it also. There are many ways to strengthen your ability to cope. Here, we’ll outline just a few ways that can help you develop resilience in a time of change.
Alter the Narrative
What we tell ourselves about a situation has a huge impact on how we see and handle it. Very few circumstances are completely negative. In fact, there is a point at which negativity is just not an accurate reflection of circumstances. You can think about it as practicing seeing the positive and building your confidence by using positive self-talk, but you can also look at it as simply being more accurate with your thoughts. For example, instead of, “This is too hard. I can’t do it,” try something like, “This is certainly a challenge. What strengths and resources can I use to help me resolve it? Is this similar to other challenges I have lived through in the past?”
Learn to Ask for and Give Support
Part of developing resilience is learning to draw on the strength of others when we need it. If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to others. They care about you and want to see you succeed. This also lets your friends and loved ones know that they don’t need to be ashamed of their problems either, and can turn to you for support. By strengthening one another, we become stronger and more resilient ourselves.
Take Care of Your Health
Resilience is multi-faceted, and it’s important to realize that your health—both mental and physical—has an influence on your ability to bounce back. Practice good self-care, including regular exercise, a healthy diet, enough sleep, and stress-management or mindfulness techniques. Nurturing yourself allows you to build up strength reserves that can help you to be resilient when times get tough.
Choose to Act
Sometimes change can feel overwhelming, and this immobilizes us. You can develop greater resilience by pushing through that paralysis. Focus on what you can control, however small or large it is, and choose to act so that you can influence that particular aspect of the situation. Doing this gives you a feeling of empowerment and greater ability to cope with and recover from challenges.
Developing resilience in a time of change requires dedicated focus, but it’s well worth the effort. As you take steps to increase your resilience, you’ll begin to develop a more positive outlook, recover more quickly from setbacks, and become a source of strength to yourself and others.