How to become resilient when life is hard

By May 19, 2017Blog
How to become more resilient when life is hard
May 19, 2017 Blog

Life can be difficult sometimes. It’s part and parcel of our existence. Our lives are in constant flux, we experience the highs and the lows in a constant ebb and flow that together makes up the fabric of our experience.

Life is change. Nothing ever stays the same, it’s the nature of our existence. So will the days that feel difficult. But what can we do when life feels really hard to move through this and become more resilient?

Resiliency refers to our ability to deal with life’s ups-and-downs, and how quickly and well we can respond to stress and difficult events. All of us will face hard times, sometimes small events, sometimes big life experiences that can leave us gasping for air, wondering whether we will make it through.

There is always a way through and with practice and effort, you can increase your ability to roll with the punches. Sometimes this will happen quickly, yet other times, it will take time and they may even leave us a scarred. Yet it is also exactly these events and scars, that can serve us most powerfully and make us the people we are.  If we choose to learn and if we choose to take responsibility for our own lives.

Some of the toughest times in my life have also allowed me to become a more resilient, stronger person with a deeper appreciation of life.

These are the stories of our lives, the layers of our personality, that if we choose to make them so, can allow us to become our own heroes in the story of our life.

So how do we become more resilient and learn to flow with whatever life gives us?

  • Be kind and compassionate with yourself. When emotions are running high, be patient with yourself, giving yourself the time, space and care you need. Denying that you have been hurt only prolongs the pain that you might be going through. Can you find space to allow these emotions? To express them to others, on paper, or in whatever other outlet you might have? How can you treat yourself like you would a close friend?
  • Take care of yourself. This seems like a no-brainer right? But how often do we allow ourselves to crumble under the weight of what is happening? Not eating healthily, not moving our bodies, not reaching out to loved ones. It’s almost as if we’re saying, I give up. With every act of self-care, you’re saying, I love you, I care for you. This is the time when you need it most. Take care of yourself like nothing else, prioritise your own health and well-being.
  • Take responsibility for your own life. Regardless of what might have caused the event, and it may not be something that is in your control, you will have to take responsibility for your own life. This is one of the most powerful realisations you can have:

your response to an event determines the outcome of an event

You choose whether you will be defined by the events. Will you let yourself be dragged down or will you choose to rise to the occasion?

  • Focus on what you are grateful for. This can be tough when life has thrown you a curveball. Focusing our attention on what is working, on what we do have, on the people that are in our lives, can really change our perspective from what we don’t have to what we do. There are so many things that we can always be grateful for. The fact that we are still alive, that we are still breathing each morning, that each every day the sun comes up.
  • Find meaning in the learning. What can you learn from this event? What is life trying to teach you? What is it that needs to change and how can you do so? Taking time to learn from all your experiences infuses your life with a deeper meaning and direction. Sometimes this can take quite a long time, but often the most difficult hardships in life give you the biggest lessons. If we can allow ourselves to look back at the events with a sense of curiosity.
  • It’s not all about you. What that means is that life doesn’t always happen to you. We are small specks on this vast planet of ours. The events of our lives are not always about us. While that may be difficult sometimes, herein also lies the power of acceptance. Sometimes we have no choice other to accept, but again, we always have a choice in how we respond.
  • Get closer to your fear. Resiliency is like a muscle. If we can expose ourselves to pain and fear, we will become more accustomed to feelings of discomfort, allowing ourselves to grow each time. Develop confidence in your ability to handle whatever may come. This confidence again grows each and every time you expose yourself to whatever it is that you might be scared of. The trick here is to start small. This might not work when we are in the full throttle of hardship, but resiliency can be practised in small ways each and every day.
  • Share with others. When we can share our experiences, receive love and care, we can feel strengthened by the support given by others. Allowing others to see what is going on with us, can bring us closer to each other. This doesn’t mean that you have to share everything with everyone around you, but find that special friend, that small circle of people you truly love and trust, and allow them to support you.

If you’re reading this at a time when life feels so very hard, I feel for you. Know that this too shall pass. One day you will look back and understand the deeper meaning of why this happened to you and what life was trying to teach you. Life is a perfect imperfection, a constant flow, it cannot help but change.

How can you use what life is giving you to become the stronger and more courageous one?

Stay strong beautiful one.

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