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Building Mental Resilience

The last couple of years have been among the most difficult in recent times. Collectively, we’ve experienced changes to our daily way of life, the way we interact with others, and how we work. For some, the isolation of working from home and living alone has been hardest. Others have lost their job and the sense of identity that goes with it.

Our resilience has been tested. The good news is resilience can be developed. While we may be changed by adversity, we are not defined by the hurdles we face. With each hurdle, there is an opportunity to become stronger and more resilient. The ability to come back as strong or even stronger is what defines resilience.

While we may not face anything like this pandemic again, we are likely to continue to face challenges and setbacks in our lives. Here are some things you can do to build your resilience and rise again and again.

Being Optimistic and Hopeful

Seeing the glass half full and being hopeful about the future allows you to see any setbacks as temporary. This positions your thinking towards positive outcomes in which things will get better.

Understanding and Building on Your Strengths

By knowing what your strengths are, you can draw upon them to help you overcome adversity. You can also add to your strengths. Research has shown character strengths such as gratitude, kindness, and bravery can be important in supporting resilience.

Having Strong Relationships

Creating and maintaining strong personal networks and knowing when to reach out for professional support means you don’t have to go it alone when you hit a stumbling block. Support from others can help alleviate negative emotions and provide resources for strategies to move forward.

Responding to Setbacks With a Growth Mindset

Psychologist Carol Dweck researched the importance of mindsets, in particular a growth mindset in which “people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point.”

A growth mindset brings the belief that you can persevere, and that by working hard you can overcome challenges. When things fail to go as planned, you see it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

To learn more, you can watch Carol Dweck talk about developing a growth mindset here.

Reframing Your Story

A story in which you play an active role as master of your destiny, rather than accepting things happening to you, provides you with the impetus to write or rewrite the next chapter in your life. Telling a story which separates the problem from your sense of self allows you to move forward and take positive action.

Utilising Effective Techniques to Reduce Anxiety

You cannot avoid the stress or anxiety that come with any adversity or change. However, you can take steps to help you reduce the negative emotions to allow you to better deal with the situation. It could be getting more sleep, meditation, exercising or talking to someone. It’s a bit different for everyone, so find out what works for you.

Resilience cannot be tested in the absence of hardship. We hope these suggestions help you develop your resilience now and into the future. 

As always, please let us know if there are any particular topics you would love us to look into or you have any queries or feedback. You can reach us here.

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