The inspiring and fearless photojournalist, Margaret Moth, who recently succumbed to cancer, embodied the spirit of a resilient woman. Pictured here with her camera, Moth embraced adventure and making a difference in the world.
How does one develop the capacity to become resilient when it does not come naturally? Most of us need to learn certain skills and strategies to develop resiliency.
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ~Confucius
The 10 Keys to Developing Resiliency
- Build relationships and connections with supportive friends and family members. This contributes profoundly to our capacity for resilience.
- Engage in activities that give you a sense of purpose and meaning. Having something to focus on outside of yourself enhances your well-being.
- Practice mindfulness exercises such as abdominal breathing, meditation, constructive rest or self-hypnosis.
- Take care of yourself physically. Eat a clean diet, exercise regularly and get at least seven hours of sleep. It’s difficult to be resilient when basic needs are not being met.
- Strengthen your ability to be optimistic by looking for something each day that signals a good outcome. Train your brain to expect positive results.
- Keep a gratitude journal so that you can track all the elements of your day for which you can be grateful. It does not have to be anything major. A pleasant walk, a good conversation with a friend, a delicious cup of coffee are all examples of life’s pleasures for which we can be grateful. The gratitude journal helps develop a more positive perspective and greater resilience.
- Be proactive. Rather than hoping and praying that things will change, every day take some steps towards initiating that change. Feeling a daily sense of accomplishment helps us to feel more empowered and able to influence the events of our lives.
- Maintain perspective. Keep the big picture in mind when things don’t work out according to plan. Resilient people know to expect the unexpected. You just need to remember that setbacks will happen and your job is to keep pushing forward.
- Add fun and laughter into your everyday life. If it is difficult to find the humor in the context of certain losses or challenges, then look elsewhere to find some comic relief. Humor helps to deepen our capacity for resilience.
- Engage in flow activities. Flow activities are projects or interests that occupy the mind in such a deep way that we lose track of time. Writing, dancing, yoga, gardening, spending time with friends are all great examples of flow activities.
Developing resilience looks like a full time job, yet most of these suggestions can be incorporated throughout the day and need not be time-consuming. Developing resiliency is a way of changing one’s mindset or looking at life from a slightly different lens.
How is your resilience? What are one or two things you can do to boost your ability to roll with the punches?