Vera Jo Bustos
The Building Blocks of Stress to Resilience
Stress is a huge aspect of our life, one that has the ability to break you down in ways you never imagined. It's heavier than any burden and stronger than any wall you have faced, but that does not mean you can turn it around.
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from a horrible situation, it covers a wide range of concepts that are mostly related to positive adaptation. In simple words it's about taking the bad hand life has presented you with, and turning it around into something good. Using the bad hand as inspiration you push to create something positive in life.
Fortunately, resilience is not a personality trait, but a process you can learn. So you don't have to worry about whether you were born with it or not. All you have to do is follow these seven easy practices that allow you to take the stress and transform it into resilience.
1) Acceptance - The first step is to accept what has happened and understand the situation. Most of us spend too much time in denial or wondering why it happened to them. Rather than dwelling on “why” it's time you accept that you have been dealt a hand, and you have to deal with it. Yes, it is easier said than done, but acceptance is the key to moving forward. It does not mean you pretend to be okay, but it means you are ready to accept what has happened.
2) Bigger Picture - Taking a step back and taking in the negative and positive aspects of the situation can help you in more ways than you think. Only when you understand the situation from a different perspective, will you be able to handle the situation in a desirable manner. It is okay to feel positive and negative things in life, you cannot ignore the difficult parts. Life is all about taking it all in, and seeing how you handle the situation. Rather than letting the stress of situations grow to a point where it becomes impossible to break.
3) Empathy - Understanding your and others' feelings and perspectives can help you build resilience in many ways. As it allows you a chance to open yourself towards a new aspect, one that helps you explore other options. Opening you up to new solutions that are not limited to you, but cover others in your life.
4) Solutions - You can either spend hours talking about what is going right or going wrong in your life. However, thinking of how you can make it even better, or get out of a bad situation requires effort. To build the resilience you must break away from ruminating, and focus on developing a solution-powered mindset.
5) Self-Awareness - A concept that we have alienated, but one we need to thrive. Knowing your strengths, weaknesses, reactions, and beliefs can help you improve your life by a great deal. It is one of the keys to building resilience. Knowing yourself is an advantage, one that ensures a more effective process. Making sure every challenge you take on is easily conquered.
6) Connections - A step you need to ensure stability is support. You need people in your life you can rely on, someone who cares about you and is willing to offer you their time when needed. Social support can help you sail through any stressful aspect of your life, and even inspire you to build resilience.
7) Self-Care - Creating a self-care routine is the best way to build and maintain resilience. It might be a simple process, but one that reminds you of your importance. Knowing you are a priority for yourself helps set up the right tone, one that shows through your daily habits. These include but are not limited to regular sleeping, a balanced diet, physical exercise, and more.