Updated: May 18
Do you ever feel like the weight of the world is bearing down on you? Are you finding it difficult to cope with the constant challenges life throws your way?
It's only natural to be setback by disappointments—missing out on your dream job, changes in relationships, the loss of a loved one, not being chosen for a team, or being excluded from social events. These experiences can leave us feeling dejected, causing us to wallow in self-pity, direct blame towards others and the circumstances, and succumb to a sense of sadness. In these moments, we may even begin to doubt ourselves, implant limiting beliefs, or withdraw from those we care about.
But fear not! Building resilience is not a one-step process. There are several strategies you can employ to bounce back from life's adversities. Here are a few go-to strategies to help you rebuild and strengthen your resilience:
- Expect that things might not go your way - and remember, it's not personal. Recognise that you can't control every situation. Whether it's a team selection or an invitation to a social gathering, outcomes are often influenced by factors beyond your control. For instance, if you didn't land the desired role, it might have been due to someone else's existing connections or greater visibility. By expecting that things can play out differently, you shift sadness into expectation, allowing yourself to move forwards rather than dwell on the past.
- Switch up the environment. If you find yourself caught in a cycle of repeated disappointments, make a conscious decision to change your surroundings. Move out of the physical space you're in and venture into a different setting. Try attending meetings in a new location or meeting someone for a chat in a neutral space where no one holds power. Step away from the couch and soak up some sunshine. Call a friend and go for a walk together. Physical movement helps release dopamine and brings in positive energy. The next time you feel weighed down, ask yourself, What else can I do? What aspects can I change, such as the environment, location, or my own energy?
- Embrace mindfulness. This practise can be a lifeline during uncertain times when you find yourself spiralling. I discovered its power during a family vacation in Thailand in 2015. My eight-year-old son had experienced a traumatic event, and I was overwhelmed with emotions, unable to think logically and make sound decisions. Establishing a daily ritual of morning meditation provided the clarity I needed to focus on necessary actions, identify the support network available to me, and regain emotional stability. Moreover, remember that our children observe how we navigate life's challenges. Witnessing my own transformation, my son adopted meditation as his go-to strategy to combat anxiety. Mindfulness can truly be life-changing.
- Seek feedback. Instead of allowing thoughts to ruminate and assumptions to pile up in your mind, actively seek understanding by requesting feedback. Gaining insights into the situation can provide valuable context and reveal areas for personal growth. Be prepared to receive feedback as a gift that helps you learn and discover. It's an opportunity for self-improvement and future development.
Additionally, don't forget the critical role sleep plays in how we feel. Ensure you get sufficient rest and nourish your body with the right fuel. This will provide the energy necessary for daily exercise, which creates opportunities for movement and boosts your overall well-being. Remember, everyone's needs differ on a daily basis. While some may require ample rest for recovery, others may find five minutes of movement sufficient after an injury or health issue. Listen to your body and honour its needs.
Now, ask yourself: What's one thing you can do today to awaken your mental hardiness and tap into your inner strength, moving forwards instead of dwelling in the past?