The concept of resilience is not discussed as often as it should be. The following are some tips on developing resilience.

4 Tips to Develop Resilience

  • Awareness

Cultivating awareness of yourself, for example, reflecting on your ways of thinking and acknowledging your strengths. As is the awareness of having gone through adversity in the past – perhaps one could reflect on what helped and what was not helpful. 

Fostering further awareness through reading and also through therapy can be helpful.

  • Learn to be flexible and mindful

Perhaps these deserve to have a separate spotlight since they are so important for resilience and for a healthier outlook on life. 

The formal practice of mindfulness is a very good tool in further developing mental resilience and is encouraged.

However, sometimes it does not even need to be the classical way we think of mindfulness. Spending a couple of seconds daily noticing the things we often take for granted can help. You can start by noticing how clothes feel on your body, or by really tasting your food and feeling the textures as you chew. You might also take some time to look at the plants in your place of work or to notice how the warmth of a mug feels in your hands. Pausing for these few seconds can help ‘reset’ anxiety-provoking thoughts.

This paired with mental flexibility can help you develop more strength in dealing with difficulties. Allowing yourself to be flexible in your thoughts as well as day to day routine can help increase mental toughness. When we stay open-minded and flexible, we learn from others and give ourselves the chance to challenge our thoughts and anxieties. Flexibility is important even in meeting others, and in trying new activities. Challenging yourself to get out of your comfort zone and grow.

  • Challenge your thoughts and put things in perspective

We are often taught not to question things, which can affect our thought processes. Many people assume that having a particular thought is final. This, unfortunately, tends to happen even more in the face of adversity. Training yourself to shift focus and challenge thoughts can make all the difference. This skill goals hand in hand with being mindful.

Keeping in mind the simple phrase ‘You are not your thoughts’ can already be very supportive. 

Practicing these skills in stable times is crucial, as it makes them more accessible during adversity. Practicing only when there is a ‘crisis’ will more often than not, make the result less effective.

  • Connect with people

Developing and maintaining strong and healthy relationships can make a huge impact in the development of resilience and morale. Feeling connected is one of the most empowering things one can experience. It gives us value and a sense of belonging within the community. These have always been important for humanity.

This applies only if the relationships are nourishing and healthy ones. Being direct in communication and confrontation can help especially with relationships that are more turbulent.

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Jessica Saliba Thorne is a Gestalt psychotherapist. She has experience within the mental health field and sees adults with mental health difficulties, relationship issues and trauma at Willingness.