In his book “ The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth “, M. Scott Peck says, “life is difficult”. I’m sure you agree. Life can be very difficult at times. That’s why developing resilience is so important. It will help you overcome the roadblocks and obstacles that life will throw in your path.
Look, life always brings struggles. That’s just how life is.
The problem is, sometimes, these struggles can feel overwhelming and make it hard to keep on keeping on. That’s the importance of knowing how to develop resilience. And that’s what we’ll cover in this article.
4 Benefits of Developing Resilience
What matters more than the challenge you face is your response to it. Your response comes from your perspective, how you look at the event.
Developing resilience helps you create a positive way of looking at the world, a positive outlook. As you practice looking for opportunities, instead of obstacles, you’ll be better equipped to bounce back from the adversity life throws at you.
Four Reasons for Developing Resilience
1. Resilience Develops Self-Motivation
Practicing resilience develops intrinsic motivation. That’s the motivation that comes from inside. Internal motivation makes you feel empowered. This feeling of empowerment allows you to figure out how to get the things done and move ahead.
Feeling empowered allows you to take a step back and take an objective look at the situation. An objective look enables you to see the situation more clearly and develop a plan.
Your ability to plan your path forward gives you a sense of responsibility. This helps you manage the way you see life. Of course, the way you see life makes a huge difference in the results you get.
A bonus is, as you take more responsibility, you will feel more confident. This will give you the courage to take more risks and you will only grow when you take risks.
2. Resilience Develops Leadership
Resilience gives you a better understanding of your struggles. This understanding makes it easier for you to share your struggles with others.
The only way you can receive feedback is to ask for it. This is because you can only receive help if you’re open to it.
As you ask for help you are opening yourself up to new ideas. This openness can help you find solutions and build your problem-solving skills. This practice will move you a lot more smoothly along your path in life.
3. Resilience Builds Self-Awareness
This piggybacks on number two. Knowing yourself means being aware of what is going on in your life. This self-awareness can help remove some of your blind spots.
Another powerful benefit of self-awareness is it can help you set boundaries with people, work, and yourself. Without boundaries your life can easily be filled with distractions. This can make your life chaotic. The more you develop resilience the easier creating these boundaries will become.
4. Resilience Helps You Bounce Back
Resilience is bouncing back. Developing resilience builds your ability to accept whatever life throws your way. It helps you to accept that, even though you cannot change what happens, you can choose how you react to what happens. That’s the first step to bouncing back.
Resilience is knowing, deep down, things can, and will get better. This knowledge will help you worry less and focus on working toward the things you want in life.
Being Okay with Your Emotions
Before we get to some mindfulness techniques for building resilience, let’s talk about your emotions. It’s important to recognize that ALL your emotions are valid. There are no bad or invalid emotions.
Not letting yourself feel certain emotions doesn’t make them go away. All they do is linger in your subconscious and then insert themselves into your self-talk, behavior and your future emotions.
You need to allow yourself to feel and accept your emotions. It’s only by accepting that all your emotions are valid will you begin to move through them.
Acceptance doesn’t mean being pleased with emotions that affect you negatively or being at peace with your current situation. Accepting your emotions simply means you’re acknowledging how you truly feel.
One of the best ways to learn how you truly feel is through the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness gives you the ability to step back, look at your emotions and label them, instead of pushing them away.
As you learn to label what you’re feeling as an emotion, such as, “Right now I am feeling anger,” you’ll notice a new space beginning to form. This space will give you the ability to take control of the emotion instead of your emotion taking control of you.
Mindfulness – A Path to Resilience
Mindfulness helps you pay attention to your emotions in the here and now. Mindfulness encourages non-judgmental awareness. This means you are not labeling your emotions as good or bad but instead, experiencing your emotions as an observer. This ability to observe your emotions allows you to be aware of how they make you feel and their effect on you. This allows you to respond, rather than react to them.
The following are 5 mindfulness practices that will help you take charge of your emotions.
1. Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is easy and can be done almost anywhere. You can even use it at work by closing your office door or disappearing to the restroom.
Optimally, you will sit in a quiet place. Set the timer on your phone for two or three minutes. As you sit there, simply pay attention to your breathing. Just allow yourself to focus on your breaths as they come in and go out of your body. You don’t need to breathe a certain way and you don’t have to think of anything special.
As you pay attention to your breathing, when your mind wanders (your mind will always wander, that’s what minds do), just acknowledge its wandering ways, smile, and go back to noticing your breaths until your timer sounds.
2. Color in a Coloring Book
Coloring books aren’t just for kids. While this might have been the case at one time, today everyone colors.
When you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take a few minutes and break out a coloring book that interests you and have fun. Let yourself color for 10 minutes or so. Coloring takes your mind off the stressful stuff and helps you to relax. This allows you to focus on one thing, coloring. When you finish, you’ll return to whatever you were doing, feeling refreshed and ready to get on with the rest of the day’s activities.
3. Play a Musical Instrument
Playing music is good for the soul. It doesn’t matter if you already play and instrument, or would like to learn how, creating music on an instrument is a fantastic way to practice mindfulness. Instead of focusing on perfection, just enjoy the process of making music you enjoy. After a little while you’ll feel a lot better and ready to go back to whatever life brings.
If you don’t want to play music, try writing songs or poetry. This can help use your creative process to move through your emotions and feel better.
4. Take a Nature Walk
Studies show that just a few minutes walking outdoors in a park-like setting can be a great mood enhancer. As you walk, use mindfulness to pay attention and simply notice your surroundings, the trees, the birds, the shrubs and flowers. As you notice, name the things you see, hear, or smell.
Your imagination is immensely powerful. It can make you feel down in the dumps, or absolutely amazing.
When you are experiencing a stressful event, take a break. Sit back and use visualization to imagine your emotions floating by like clouds, or like leaves floating down a slow-moving stream.
You might think of a beautiful, serene place you’ve visited in the past. As you think of this comforting place, imagine an animal or object gently passing by. As it passes, let one of your emotions rests gently on each of those things and watch as your emotion peacefully floats away.
Practicing visualization for just a few minutes every day will not only build your resilience, but it will also decrease your blood pressure and heart rate all while improving your mental outlook. It will also make you a much more pleasant person overall – guaranteed!
Mindfulness Develops Resilience
Resilience is a powerful practice for moving through life’s difficulties. It is something that we all need and can be simple to develop though the practice of mindfulness. Just practice one of the mindfulness techniques each day and see how fast you’ll start feeling better about yourself and the world.
The best news is that the practice of mindfulness is a positive mental loop.
As you continue to practice mindfulness, your mind is better able to tether itself to the present moment. This ability to be present helps develop your resilience and enhances nearly every aspect of your life.
For the next 30 days, make a point of practicing one of these mindfulness exercises daily. You’ll find that you’re happier, healthier, and better able to take on all the challenges life brings. In other words, you’ll be living a more resilient life.
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