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What Resilience Really Looks Like and How to Build It

Resilience

Resilience is the the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. 

Resilient people are more likely to bounce back from stressful or traumatic situations, and they demonstrate an optimistic attitude, opting to see the lessons in failure.

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What Resilience Really Looks Like and How to Build It

What Resilience Really Looks Like and How to Build It

https://doist.com/blog/how-to-build-resilience/

doist.com

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Key Ideas

Resilience

Resilience is the the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. 

Resilient people are more likely to bounce back from stressful or traumatic situations, and they demonstrate an optimistic attitude, opting to see the lessons in failure.

Resilience is a skill

Resilience isn’t something you’re born with, but something you build. 

Psychologists say it’s comprised of behaviors, thoughts and actions that anyone can learn — a skill that can be improved, just like running or speaking a new language.

Common patterns in building resilience

  • Relying on others. Resilience has a lot to do with leaning on the people around you and with developing strong, supportive connections.
  • Trust your own abilities. Keep a list of accomplishments you’re proud of to serve as a reminder of the times you’ve been resilient before.
  • Be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to set physical, mental and emotional boundaries.
  • Change your outlook. While you can’t always control the situation, you do have control over how you respond to it. Cultivate optimism in the face of adversity.
  • Take the next step, even if it’s small. Build hope. Make a list that includes a goal, steps to achieve it, potential obstacles and strategies to overcome them.

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Psychological resilience is not about fake positivity and takes its power from our negative feelings. It makes our anger, sadness, failure and self-loathing into something useful and productive.

When we become sufficiently resilient, we are unstoppable and limitless.

Care For Someone Else

Our focus on the self has made us fearful and overwhelmed, especially in times of crisis. Part of our anxiety is the constant focus on oneself. Even if we do focus on others, it is only to judge them about how they feel about us, and what they think about us.

If instead of our inner selfishness, we find a greater cause to endure the crisis or risk, some deeper purpose or mission that eclipses our ego, then the crisis is taken care of.

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Emotional Resilience
Emotional Resilience

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Journaling to increase emotional stamina

Reflective journaling as a daily practice helps us improve our emotional stamina.

Writing down our experiences leads to new insights and a deeper understanding of our behaviour and actions. Writing down your failures and successes also helps us self-analyze our life in an objective, detached way. One can choose a pen and paper or digital format to write and make it a point to write when one experiences highs and lows in life.

Self-Compassion

We have to take care not to damage our self-esteem and our sense of self-worth by being judgemental about ourselves.

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Resilience Principles
  • Challenge: Resilient people turn difficulty into a challenge. They don't fight against reality, they confront it. 
  • Commitment: Having something to fight for gives you extra motivation. 
  • Self-Control: Free will is the realization that you own your actions and control your reactions. 
Build a First Responder Mindset
  • Reframe your thoughts about reality: You can’t control reality, but you can manage how you adapt to it.
  • Prepare for the worst: You can’t train to deal with every possible situation, but you can prepare your mind to adapt to unexpected ones.
  • Create alternative paths: Creativity plays a critical role in overcoming adversity.
  • Leverage the power of relationships: Rescuing yourself from adversity starts with you but strong relationships are critical for bouncing back.
  • Mind your spirit: Religious and spiritual support bring us comfort during adversity.
Take Stock and Track Your Time

You can’t really clean up your schedule if you don’t know what’s in it—and that includes all the things on your literal and official calendar and all the things that aren’t. 

Purge Recurring Meetings and Tasks

Once you know what’s on your calendar, ask yourself: “What is the purpose of each thing on here? Are we accomplishing that or does something need to change?” 

Question each task. Start with recurring meetings, which can very easily build up and take over your calendar.

Sort Things By Importance and Urgency

... and put them in one of four quadrants:

  • Quadrant I: Important, Urgent (crises, last-minute meetings for important deadlines)
  • Quadrant II: Important, Not Urgent (strategic planning, long-term goal setting)
  • Quadrant III: Not Important, Urgent (certain emails, phone calls, meetings, and events)
  • Quadrant IV: Not Important, Not Urgent (scrolling mindlessly through social media, binge-watching TV you don’t really care about).

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Finding ways to laugh at challenges, stressful situations, and even personal tragedy is one way resilient people cope and grow through misfortune.

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Acts of Service

Helping others benefits the giver as much as those on the receiving end. 

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The Fear of Public Speaking

Public speaking is often topping the charts as the No. 1 fear in the world.

People feel anxious, sweaty, or have a pounding heart while being on stage in front of an audience.

Practice

A great way to remove a large portion of fear is to practice hard, studying the topic wellYou can research all questions that the audience may ask, and practice the speech in front of a mirror or in front of friends.

Practicing soothes our nerves, making us ready for the final audience.

Bigger Than Your Fears
Finding something bigger than your fear, greater than your anxiety, is a key strategy to get rid of the natural negative emotions.
When you talk about something you are passionate about, the words come naturally, in a flowEven if the words are forgotten, you can easily bounce back, as your inner fire won't let the words fail you.

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Developing mastery

Fun is the experience of developing mastery. When we acquire new skills and recognize valuable patterns, our brains reward us with a shot of pleasurable sensations. 

Games and learning

Games are optimal learning environments:

  • Feedback loops are short, fast and adapted to your skill level.
  • Challenges grow as you develop new skills.
  • Failures are learning opportunities because every time you make a mistake, you get a hint about how you can do better next time.
Boredom and learning

Boredom is what we feel when our brain decides that there's nothing worth learning. It's the brain searching for new information.

And even games become boring at some point because they eventually run out of things to teach you. That's when you stop playing.

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Do a reality check

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Point out your problem

When feeling unhappy, make sure you understand very well what the issue is. Without a clear identification of the problem, there can be no permanent solution. 

This applies especially when you think the issue is yourself: after some good years, you are still not the person you have always wanted to be. And that is perfectly fine: embrace your defaults as well as your qualities and learn to work on them for further improvement.

Acceptance and hustling

If you have recently come to the conclusion that you are not happy, you might want to considerate two aspects: firstly, it is worth working hard in order to achieve your goals and secondly, sometimes you have to accept that you can not have everything, as you do not possess the ability to change the world. Try it for a change and you might just feel a bit happier afterwards.

How we react to stress

Stress is largely caused not by other people or external events, but by your reactions to them.

Pressure is not stress

But pressure could be converted into stress, when rumination appears: the tendency to keep rethinking past or future events while attaching negative emotion to those thoughts.

Rumination is ongoing and destructive, diminishing your health, productivity, and well-being.

Wake up

Stand or sit up, clap your hands, and move your body. Connect with your senses by noticing what you can hear, see, smell, taste, and feel. The idea is to reconnect with the world.

Most of the rumination happens when you are in a state called “waking sleep": when you are doing things, but you aren't really paying attention to them.

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