Ten Keys to Happier Living – 7. Resilience
We all experience stress, failure, trauma, and loss in our lives. It‘s how we respond to these experiences that can impact on our happiness. Action for Happiness claim:
‘We often cannot choose what happens to us, but in principle we can choose our own attitude to what happens’
Did you know findings from recent research show that resilience can be learned? In todays blog we share with you some helpful tips that will help you to be more resilient both at work and at home.
Resilience isn’t a rare quality found in a few, extraordinary people. Like many other life skills, resilience can be a learned skill.
What is Resilience and how can it be learned?
Resilience is our ability to ‘bounce back’ from what life throws at us. Being resilient doesn’t mean we don’t feel negative emotions such as anger and sadness, it means we have the skills to recover from our negative feelings. Having skills in resilience will help you to change how you think about a situation and support you to let go / move forward from the situation. Resilience focuses on problem solving rather than the problem itself.
In practice, being resilient is not always easy because life is unpredictable and many factors affect our resilience. The biggest factor is sleep – if you are not getting enough sleep then it makes it more difficult to be resilient during challenging times. So the first step to becoming more resilient is getting the sleep you need!
Being resilient involves letting go, learning and growing from experiences and finding healthy ways to cope.
Dr Ann Masten, describes resilience as ‘ordinary magic’ noting that it comes from our normal, everyday capabilities, relationships and resources. Each person and situation is different – we can be naturally more resilient with one thing and be more challenged in another. This changes throughout life depending on internal and external factors.
Take action to build your resilience
It is valuable for everyone to build their skills in resilience because life has its ups and downs. At Be Empowered, we believe one of the fundamental keys to becoming more resilient is self-awareness. We must be open to learning about ourselves and be honest about what is our part vs other peoples and external factors.
Another essential component to our resilience is how we choose to interpret events. How we interpret events affects our emotional responses and how we behave as a result. We often think that our feelings and behaviours after an event is in response to the event, but it actually comes from our beliefs. Try this ABC model (Adversity, Beliefs, Consequences) to challenge your thoughts and beliefs.
The ABC model (Albert Ellis)
Reflect regularly on the events that happen and how you respond, this can be through writing or talking about it to a trusted person. As you reflect, aim to challenge your beliefs and consider more helpful and coping thoughts. Here are a list of helpful thoughts to get you started – challenge your negative thoughts and work on replacing them with helpful ones.
- I am just as worthy as everyone else
- I am loved by many people
- I can be anxious/angry/sad and still deal with this
- I have done this before, and I can do it again
- These are just feelings, they will pass if I allow them to
- I don’t need to rush, I can take things slowly
- I feel this way because of my past experiences, but I am safe right now
- I’m stronger than I think
- It’s okay to feel this way, it’s a normal reaction
- Thoughts are just thoughts. They are not necessarily true or factual
- I will learn from this experience, even if it seems hard to understand right now
- This is difficult and uncomfortable, but it is only temporary
- I am good at some things and not so good at others and that’s OK
- It’s OK to have a different opinion to others
- I can learn from this and it will be easier next time
- Not everyone has to love / like me
- I don’t have to do everything perfectly
- I am always valuable
- I have value regardless of what others think of me
- Even if someone irritates me, I can control my own reactions
- Failures and mistakes are a part of life Even though I didn’t succeed that doesn’t mean I am a failure
- I am enough just as I am
Repeat your new helpful thoughts daily to change your belief system. Over time your beliefs will change and you will become more resilient.
Useful self-reflection questions
Challenge your thoughts with these questions as you self-reflect and become more self-aware:
- How much do I believe my negative thought?
- This is not the only possible thought, an alternative thought could be….
- What will I think about this event / thought in a week or a months time?
- Can I prove this thought or did I jump to a conclusion?
- What is the truth in my thought? How do I know this? Am I being a fortune teller?
- What’s the worst that could happen? How likely is this to happen?
- Do I need to talk to someone to help me with this thought?
The more stressed we are, the less resilient we can be. It is important to take care of yourself and do some activities that help relax and destress you. Make time for yourself. Follow our social media for regular tips on self-care.
‘If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it’
Lead Mental Health Trainer
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