Five Things You Can Do To Become More Resilient

  • 2021-10-21 14:00:00 By
  • Megan Swan

I was recently interviewed by Savio P. Clemente for Authority Magazine on Resilience. Below are the five things I shared we can do to build more resilience in turbulent times. You can read the full article here.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity, tragedy, traumatic events or circumstances. This can be in terms of the ability to withstand the trauma in the moment, and then also the ability to find a way to process it and work through it so it doesn’t come to define you.

  1. Strong positive relationship(s). I think it is really important in this post-pandemic era that we give ourselves permission to really seek out that intimate connection and company we have been missing over the last few years. It will take some practice but we need to stop bringing a layer of fear to social interactions and trust that we have done everything we can to strengthen our immunity. Resilient people have strong personal connections with at least one other person, and usually multiple positive relationships that keep them fighting for survival or to go on. This could be a parent or a child or a lifelong friend. When we feel like someone is really going to need or miss us we are able to muster up the extra energy and motivation to keep trying. I know since having children, my drive for being successful on a whole other level has completely shifted. It is newly important and visceral for me to not only be their role model but also to have the ability to open doors for them or support them while they figure out what their dreams are.

    This is why so many of us will be looking for new ways to cultivate intimate settings to connect with like-minded people. It gets harder when we are adults to make new platonic friends, we are just so overwhelmed with commitments that we come to think of connecting with friends as just another thing on the to-do-list. Developing strong positive relationships, and maintaining them is the number one thing you can do to build your resilience.

  2. Develop an Abundant Mindset. Your ability to shift your perspective or mindset around the situation to see the lesson and move forward or find new motivation is so important in terms of resilience. Here I suggest three ‘F’ words you can practice embracing and reframing: fear, failure and forgiveness.

    We all have fear, it is what we do with it that makes all the difference. We can practice by facing our little fears, like starting a new project or hobby we are not sure we will excel at, and reframe the fear as excitement. Then when we are faced with even bigger fears we know there is a way to reframe this fear into excitement or motivation to take action.

    We need to embrace failure and not be afraid to take messy action. So often we are stuck in analysis paralysis, perfectionism or imposter syndrome instead of just starting somewhere and being willing to look silly and learn as we go.

    We are more resilient when we are willing to forgive. Just ask yourself next time you are angry at someone or the situation, “Do I want to be ‘right’ or do I want to be happy?”. Happiness is a choice. You always have a choice as to how you are going to show up and react. We build resilience when we are able to see humanity in every situation and let go of past drama so we can focus on the present moment at hand.

  3. Laughter. A sense of humor is something else that really helps you get through hard times. You have to be able to laugh with someone about the situation, which doesn’t need to make the situation ok or less painful, but it allows our body to release endorphins and in turn create new hope for the future. Laughter eases the central nervous system and communicates to our body that everything is going to be ok. It provides a healthy pause and reset so we can recuperate to get back to the situation at hand.

  4. Overall Optimal Wellness. Taking care of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness is also key. We often underestimate the mind-body connection but those of us who made our health and wellness a priority over the pandemic have come out with new purpose, alignment and optimism for what is to come. When we eat well, move our bodies, have a mindful practice, connect with nature, prioritize sleep, take time off, maintain healthy boundaries and happy relationships we are in the best state we can be in when times get tough. It serves as a buffer and allows us to face adversity with more strength, optimism and motivation to make it through to the end.

  5. Clear purpose. Gaining clarity of your purpose is so important to building resilience. We function best physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually when there is a clear mission. It is debilitating to us as humans to deal with the unknown. Therefore in the face of the unknown the more clarity we can hold on to and focus on the better. Being very clear why you are here, why you want to wake up each morning, and what you are working towards is so helpful. It can be a short-term or a long-term goal we seek clarity around. One great way to help you clarify your purpose is a mindfulness practice, such as meditation or prayer where you are connecting with your higher power or your highest self to gain awareness so you can ask yourself the following questions:

    1. What exactly is the current situation?
    2. How am I reacting to it?
    3. How do I want to react?
    4. How do I want to feel?
    5. How does this play into my purpose in life or what is my purpose in this situation?
    6. How can I be of service?

    When it comes down to it, the more clarity you have on the situation the better you will react, the more wisely you will utilize the resources at hand, and the more self-awareness you will have on your limits so you know when you need to take a moment to regroup.