8 Ways to Cultivate Resilience

“I get knocked down, but I get up again. You are never gonna keep me down,” is the classic chorus verse from 90’s one-hit-wonder Chumbawamba; it also perfectly defines the psychological notion of resilience.

Psychologists define resilience as the ability to adapt and bounce back from adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress. That kind of fortitude takes work and conditioning. Here are eight well-known methods to increase your resilience.

Practice Mindfulness

It seems like every effort at self-improvement includes meditation, doesn’t it? That’s likely because meditation can help us gain perspective on life.

Sometimes we have to learn to stop the thoughts in our mind from getting out of control; a mindfulness technique can help train you to regulate your emotions and see the bigger picture.

Engage Your Mind

If you have a problem with no clear solutions, it’s easy to feel trapped. Write out your problem on paper and think about it for a while. This can bring you some distance that will help give you perspective just by putting it in writing. It’s easy to ruminate on a problem, but writing it down can help solve it.

Try to look at what you can do to fix your problem and take small, positive steps toward improvement. It’s good to seek help from others, but you also need to develop self-reliance. Trust us, it’s a great feeling to know you can rely on yourself when you need to (plus, major independent woman vibes).

Journal and Visualize

If you’ve spent any time on Pinterest (who are we kidding), you’ll know visualization methods and journaling are practically a fetish—and that’s probably because they actually work.

Visualization and journaling can help you define what you want and help you advance your life. Sometimes you know what is wrong, but you don’t know what is right. Take the time to figure it out before you worry. Knowing where you’re going is just as important as knowing where you are (boom: wisdom drop).

Take Small Steps

This might not be the most visible path to self-reliance, but it’s probably the most important. There’s something you can do right now to make your life a tiny bit better, and if you stop for a second, you’ll realize you know exactly what it is. It won’t fix you and it won’t fix the world, but it will definitely help you stay in the moment.

Make Time for Self-Care

Ah, self-care, that important practice that sometimes gets distorted by marketing companies into meaning face masks and cake. While we love face masks and cake-exercise, meditation, eating well and getting proper sleep are all essential ways to stay healthy and care for yourself too.

Avoid the Negative

Alcohol, drugs, and other intoxicants aren’t the answer if you are suffering from a setback. Worse yet, they can actually create new setbacks for you. If you find yourself indulging, not out of celebration, but out of depression or a need to self-medicate, seek help if you can’t stop. If you can’t make things better, avoid making things worse.

Build Connections

This can mean a good friend or a family member, a group of people who are dealing with the same problems you face, or even a religious connection. Make sure you care for your relationships, no matter what form they take. Other people can and will help you. Friend-time also counts as self-care, as long as you can dictate healthy boundaries for your time and energy.

Volunteer

A great way to get out of your own head is to help others. Sometimes we see our problems or challenges in a new perspective when we shift our focus to other people.

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