10 Steps Toward Choosing Mental Resilience

mental resilience productivity
Resilience can help you bounce back from misfortune or unexpected change

 

People can—and should—learn to be resilient. It allows them to gain perspective on experiences that might otherwise be seen as soul sucking—and in the process, have a positive impact on not only themselves, but others as well.

Among the top skills we can develop as children and hone as adults is our ability to be resilient.

If you look up the definition of resilience, you’ll find descriptions that include “the ability to become strong, healthy, successful again after something bad happens;” and “an ability to recover and adjust after misfortune or change.” Resilience includes both physical and mental resilience, and it can be difficult to have one without the other.

There are times when finding resilience is more of a struggle and times when it comes easier. How much resilience you’re born with may not be under your control and how often your resilience is put to the test over time may not be under your control. But what is under your control is the effort you make to pursue resilience on an ongoing basis.

Walls on the Path of Mental Strength

Resilience can be more of a struggle when you’re alone, unhealthy, mentally ill and lack resources to support your resilience. The basic steps of building your resilience involve working on being physically and mentally healthy and not facing your challenges alone. When you understand these basic principles, you can begin to take steps to building your resilience. With very few exceptions, the vast majority of people can take steps to be more resilient starting today.

Building Blocks for Mental Resilience

Being mentally strong requires ongoing and active efforts. Here are a few building blocks to resilience:

1. Understand your own power to be mentally resilient

We all have our ups and our downs. Although it’s not always easy, virtually all of us have the ability to learn to control our emotions and emotional reactions so we can increase our resolve to bounce back.

Learning to recognize the signs—both physically and mentally—that you’re losing resilience and becoming overwhelmed can provide you with triggers to change what you’re doing. Learn to pay conscious attention to how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking.

Physical techniques such as deep breathing, relaxing, exercising and controlling your breathing can be developed over time. Pairing these with learning to be mindful, improve focus and minimize negative self-talk will be excellent building blocks for controlling your emotions and not letting overwhelming feelings get the best of you.

2. Being resilient means owning what you can and cannot control

Being mentally strong means recognizing problems but not letting them get to you. Mentally strong people don’t spend much time complaining, but they can point out a problem. Mentally strong people focus on solutions to problems over the problems themselves.

Learning to avoid getting stuck includes tackling the problems you can and learning to let go of the ones not worthy of an investment of time and energy. This doesn’t mean resilience cannot fight the good fight even in a losing battle. Resilience isn’t about the results of winning or losing; it’s about knowing when the fight is worth the investment and when it’s not.

3. Resilience includes choosing not to dwell in the past

Resilience involves learning from the past but not dwelling or getting bogged down in past mistakes.
Recognizing that life isn’t always fair is important. Learning to bounce back involves taking responsibility for past actions but not letting past mistakes suck the life out of moving forward. Accepting failure isn’t accepting defeat. Accepting that a failure occurred provides an opportunity to learn and move forward. Resilience includes learning to say, “It’s time to move on.”

 

 

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About the author

Tara Orchard

Tara Orchard is a coach, trainer, consultant and writer who applies her insights into people and Masters training in psychology to facilitate performance improvements, relationships and communication for people and businesses. She has worked with organizations to deliver clarity on culture and brand, develop their people and manage relationships with social network communities.  Over the past 18 years she has consulted with 1000's of people who want to make effective transitions in their lives. Tara has a knack for hearing what people are thinking and helping them see what they need to see. She is the founder of her own career and social network coaching business, works with several other organizations as a coach and consultant and is about to complete her first book on the "psychology of effective social networking". Tara invites you to connect with her on LinkedIn .

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