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By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
Emotional resilience will get you through the tough times.
When life gets difficult you may get knocked down and off track. Once they are down, some people have difficulty getting back up. Other people bounce back readily. That ability to come back after a setback is a quality, we call emotional resilience. I think there are several other kinds of resilience, such as financial resilience for example. Having a little money in your savings account can help you recover from an unexpected bill. Having the skill of emotional resilience can help you recuperate from an unanticipated emotional challenge.
Resilience is not something you’re born with, nor is it something some people have while other people don’t. Everyone seems to be able to recover from a few things. The people who are high in emotional resilience have developed the skills needed to recover from all sorts of emotional challenges. My first book, a nonfiction book about recovering from adjustment disorders, is titled Bumps on the Road of Life and talks about how to recover from setbacks. Resilience is one of those ways to get back on track. Below are some methods to perfect your resilience skill.
Encouraging optimism makes you more resilient.
Optimism isn’t a fixed trait that you either have or don’t have. You can teach your children to be more optimistic. If your past didn’t foster optimism, you could make a deliberate effort to grow that optimism.
Recognize that everyone has difficulties, whether you are aware of them are not. Think of problems as outside yourself. Don’t come to believe that because you have problems, that means there something wrong with you. Your challenges or the obstacles before you are something you need to overcome, or they are conditions you need to accept. That doesn’t mean you’re necessarily the cause of your difficulties.
Learn to view problems as temporary. Situations change with time. No matter how difficult things have been for you in the past, there’s always the possibility that things can get better. Look for the good in other people. Don’t fall into the trap of believing the world is a bad place and nothing will ever get any better.
Become a resiliency expert.
Seek out people who appear to be exceptionally resilient. Study them as examples of resiliency. There’s plenty of examples of people who gave up. You won’t learn much from studying the people who let obstacles defeat them. Study how people have overcome adversity. Take notes about the steps they took to get their lives back on track. Develop a plan, maybe even several plans, for ways you can make small improvements in your life. Don’t become impatient. Small steps taken repeatedly can take you a long way.
Keeping up your hope increases your resilience.
Hope is a characteristic that needs to be nurtured. Hope consists of two elements. First, the belief that if you try things, you will be able to accomplish them. Second, the belief that you can design multiple paths to reaching your goals.
Don’t expect to be perfect at everything you try the first time. The more things you try, the more you will find you can do some things better than others. Develop the belief that if you try, you will be able to succeed. Don’t fall into the trap of black or white thinking. Resilient people don’t believe they have to be perfect or they are failures. Give yourself credit for things you do and for improvements you make.
Learn relaxation and stress reduction techniques to improve resilience.
Stress is normal. Everyone has stress in their life from time to time. Some people have a lot of stress a lot of the time. Resilient people learn simple techniques to reduce that stress. Learn how to relax and how to have fun. Consider taking up mindfulness or meditation. Deep breathing is another technique that can help to dissipate stress.
Paying less attention to the news takes the burden off your shoulders.
An excessive diet of news can leave you with a biased view of the world no matter which news provider you view. Most news broadcasts focus on all the bad news stories, ending with maybe one feel-good happy story. The truth is that those bad news stories were collected from all over the world. If you look around you, everyday people near you are doing good things.
Take good care of your mind and body.
Maximize your physical health by getting plenty of sleep. Try to work exercise into your daily schedule and be sure to drink plenty of water. When you feel better, you do better. Practice good self-care. People who feel good about the things they’re doing to improve themselves are better equipped to handle life’s challenges.
Becoming more emotionally healthy increases resiliency.
Mental health isn’t something you either have or don’t have. Regardless of your mental health challenges, you can do things to become more mentally healthy. If you have a mental illness, talk to a counselor or therapist. Consider medication. Increasing exercise and improving self-care can reduce mental health symptoms. Increase the size of your support system by reaching out and developing more reciprocal relationships.
Limit your worry and rumination to conserve emotional energy.
Limit you thinking about the future to those things that you have some control over. Prepare for possibilities by having some extra supplies on hand and some money in a savings account. But don’t waste time contemplating future events that are outside your control. Endlessly ruminating, going over and over the things that are bothering you sap your emotional energy and drain you of resilience.
Would being more resilient be a skill worth learning?
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.
What if your family secrets put you in danger?
Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.
What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?
Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.
Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.
Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller
Books are now available on Amazon.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders, see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.