Everyone deals with setbacks or challenges in life. Maybe your boss gave you negative feedback on a project, or perhaps you forgot to pick up your friend from the airport, or maybe you got into an argument with your significant other and now they’ve left you, or maybe you are always striking out when trying to find love. Regardless of what caused it, being knocked down can be hard to recover from if you don’t have strategies in place to help you bounce back and become more resilient than ever before. Being resilient is the ability to adapt to life’s challenges and setbacks, it’s also recognizing that your feelings are valid and learning from them.
Here are seven steps you can follow to get back up and start feeling like yourself again and that demonstrate how to be resilient!
1) Talk about it
Your feelings are valid and you need to feel them. When you encounter a challenging situation, it’s sometimes easier to just ignore it or keep it under wraps out of shame or avoidance. What this does is give your power over to your challenging situation. Alternately, talking about it with someone you trust will help you take the power back and make you more resilient. This is something that has helped me immensely, particularly with he traumas I experienced in my life. The more I shared, the more I healed and the more resilient I became.
These lessons learned help you with future challenges that you might encounter and guide your future behavior. Mistakes can happen but they don’t have to define who you are. They can be opportunities for growth and learning as long as we learn from our mistakes. If mistakes have hurt people around us, then apologies are necessary – not only for those who have been hurt but also for yourself because you know what it feels like to be hurt by others.
2) Practice Gratitude
I speak A LOT about gratitude , and for good reason. It’s so important for building resiliency and happiness. Gratitude is all about focusing on what you have, not what you don’t. If you can’t find anything, look at the positives of a situation—and if it really is bad, then remind yourself that this too shall pass and that you can be grateful that it did. I always suggest practicing gratitude by listing at least three things you are grateful for at the end of the day in a journal, even the challenging situations. This will help put things into perspective and make you more resilient. It was only when I started being grateful for my life where I was at that my life’s path starting opening up. As they say, when you’re grateful you will attract more things to be grateful for, this was my personal experience as well.
3) Practice Self-Care
One of the most important things you can do for your mental health is to practice self-care. This might mean getting enough sleep, eating healthy, meditating, exercising or doing something that makes you feel good. No matter what it is, it’s important to take care of yourself so that you’re in a better place to tackle tough times when they come up. It also means recognizing when you need extra help and reaching out for support. Knowing when to stop and focus on filling your cup will help enhance your resilience and mental health. But this is something YOU need to do for yourself. If you don’t fill your own cup, others will fill it with their stuff. Self-Care for each person will look different and that’s OK, but carve some time out each day for your self-care practices. Your mental health will thank you for it!
4) Try Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness is the ability to be “fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us”. Mindfulness meditation is a practice that forces you to focus on the present, and in turn helps you feel less stressed. Mindfulness meditation is all about sitting there and focusing on your breathing or repeating a mantra or word. This will help you be more in tune with yourself, what’s going on in your life and your emotions. It empowers you because this gives you the power over yourself.
Here are some ways that I’ve found helpful for me when I started my mindfulness meditation:
1) Find a quiet peaceful place for your quiet time where you won’t be interrupted. Turn on calming instrumental music in the background if you like.
2) Sit down in a comfortable position (whatever feels most natural).
3) You can close your eyes, keep them open slightly, or look down at the ground so that your gaze is directed downward.
4) Focus on your breathing taking deep breaths in and out, for me breathing in for 5 seconds, holding for 5 seconds and breathing out for 5 seconds works well, then do it 5 times.
5) Next, you will need slow down any thoughts overwhelming your mind, letting go of any negativity so that you can be calm.
5) Help Others
Volunteer. Doing something for someone else will give you a sense of empowerment and can empower you to get back up after life knocks you down. As well, share what has helped you bounce back when life has knocked you down! For me, helping others helped me take my power back, as did sharing my experiences and trauma. Each person has something valid to offer others, not only does it show how to be resilient it is empowering!
6) Laugh Out Loud
We lead such serious lives that we need that little bit of silliness and laughter to get us through the day. It also helps us be more grateful, not to mention more pleasant! Laughter has definitely been key to teaching me how to be resilient, especially in the face of adversity.
They say that “laughter is the best medicine and they’re not wrong. Laughter is good for both our physical and mental health. It lifts us up and has the potential to heal. According to experts, “laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.” You can read more health benefits here:
7) Breathe in, breathe out
I mentioned earlier in the mindfulness section that breathing was an important component of meditation. But taking a deep breath also helps us re-focus our energy and take a step back from a stressful situation rather than react impulsively. One study even found that controlled breathing can help control anger and fear! Try practicing deep breathing with your palms pressed together at your heart, so you’re grounding yourself while sending love to yourself. It’s like a meditation for one, no matter where you are. I do this with my kids as well to help them re-focus when they are frustrated or stressed. This self-care practice demonstrates how to be resilient and improves your mental health, not to mention it’s empowering!
Take Your Power Back!
You CAN take back your power and learn how to be resilient by taking care of yourself. You ca do this by spending time doing activities that bring you joy (e.g., walking, reading) and doing things for others who may need a little assistance too (e.g., donating canned goods). Meditate, breathe deeply, try mindfulness apps on your phone, journaling–whatever self-care activities work best for you–to get back up after life knocks you down.
Talk to a life coach, therapist or trusted friend about what happened so you can get it out and let go of the pain. Write yourself a love letter citing all the things you love about yourself and what makes you special. Put in place some boundaries so that people who don’t have your best interest in mind don’t invade your thoughts as often and call more than they should.
Deep breath. One.Step.At.A.Time.
Don’t forget to request your complimentary copy of my Empowerment Journal HERE.
I love the “helping others” suggestion! It’s so underrated but has given me so much empowerment over the year.s It makes me feel a part of something greater than myself and distracts me from my problems- which of course feel the biggest lol.
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Thank you for your insight! Yes, we don’t realize how empowering helping others can be! It can be a good distraction but also helps us gain perspective about our issues. Thank you again!
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