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  • Writer's picturedeborahpenny

Bouncing back

Paths to developing resilience

Resilience is something that we all have in varying degrees, and is also something that we can improve upon. Resilience helps us with the ups and downs of everyday life and is an inner resource. This resource can be called upon during those times when you are feeling flat, low, sad or less energised.

The time to build resilience is when you are feeling comfortable and level. These windows of time may vary. Every minute is valuable and can help you to move one step closer to building a stronger more resilient you.

Here are some examples of things that can help to build your resilience:

Spend five or ten minutes jotting down the things that you naturally do well. Next take a few moments to think about an occasion where you utilised one of your inner strengths and gained a positive result. Imagine that now, bask in it, and listen to what your mind is telling you about that experience, what others might have said, what you felt and anything else.

Think about how you can include some of your inner strengths into areas of your life. For example if you enjoy coming up with creative projects, think about how you can increase and embed this natural strength into your life, on a day to day or weekly basis. Take a moment to imagine that, what is it like?

Being mindful, the art of being present in mind. The opposite is being on auto pilot, flitting from one thing to another; operating in this way gives very little depth to what we think, say or do. Engaging in mindful activities can help you to build resilience. Examples of mindful activities are: being absorbed in a hobby. Other much used activities are meditation, mindful breathing and colouring.

From time to time negative, automatic thoughts may bounce into our minds. These negative thoughts can be generalised and distorted. These thoughts create our own unique perception of the world and associated limiting beliefs, for example someone might say:

“I know that I will never be able to achieve the career I want because I just can’t focus on anything”, is that totally true? Think about time when you achieved something you set out to do, however small. Remember what it was like, what you did, how you felt, what others said about your achievement and the ways in that you gave focus to achieve that specific task and, what was the result?

Changing your explanatory style and internal dialogue can be useful and you can do this by “re writing your script” and by, adding bridging statements like: “I have a career in mind and in order to achieve it I will need to make windows of time to focus and study”. By doing this you are directing your thoughts towards your goal rather than away from it.

Developing and improving our levels of resilience is worthwhile; it can help us all to improve our mental and physical health and general wellbeing.

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