Being resilient isn’t just about being mentally tough – it’s our whole selves.
Dr. Sean Richardson offers some simple, straightforward, director advice on how to become more resilient. As he notes, mental toughness will help you face anything that life throws at you. It’s important to see failure as a pathway towards success, to keep the bigger picture in mind, and to learn to delay gratification.
1. Read and learn
Part of mental toughness comes with being confident in our abilities. We all face moments when we are uncertain. We may not feel like the “smartest” person in the room. The truth is: who cares if we are not. The key is to keep learning until forever – find sources that you enjoy reading, be that newspapers or online journals. The more we read, learn, and absorb in a way that we can always refer to when the time comes can help to build our confidence and our brains to be ready in almost any situation.
2. Own the feeling
Emotional toughness is not about being a robot or never crying. On the contrary, emotional toughness comes from acknowledging and embracing the less-than-pleasant feelings. Feel angry? Embrace it. Feel jealous? Accept it. Our vulnerability strengthens us – it neutralizes negative feelings and celebrates positive ones.
3. Phone a friend
One of the “secrets” of people living in Blue Zones, places in the world with a disproportionately high number of healthy people over 100 years of age is that they belong to a community. They have friends. Having others around us and being accountable to others help increase our immune system. A study showed that elderly people living in a nursing home who were given plants to take care of boost their immune system and live longer. Caring for something and someone else – having an emotional bond with another person – can strengthen us in multiple ways.4. Find inspiration
It doesn’t matter if it’s spiritual or religious or environmental, find something or someone or some place where you find inspiration and faith in something bigger than yourself. By gaining perspective of us within a larger world, we can strengthen our spiritual toughness, knowing that we are not in it alone.
5. Lift weights
It’s true. Lifting weights and doing any sort of weight-bearing exercises strengthen our bones and muscles. In so doing, we becoming physically stronger by using oxygen more effectively, fighting off illness better, and feeling more confident. Physical toughness is an important aspect of preparing the whole body to be more resilient and to face difficult situations with grace and poise.
Dr. Belinda Chiu is a strengths-based yoga instructor, strategist, and coach. Like you, she believes that everyone has the transformational ability to reach their potential and beyond. Dr. Chiu incorporates a practice of mindfulness to help individuals harness their natural strengths, achieve results, and carve their own paths for authentic living. She writes regularly on her website, Hummingbird research coaching consulting.
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