Life is full of change, disappointment, loss, and pain…and it’s also full of laughter, hope, and possibilities! Each day can bring joy and loss – and we have little to no control over which it will be. This lack of control can be scary. Sometimes we cling to the illusion of control and try to MAKE life feel safe or predictable, but all the effort in the world cannot guarantee safety, peace, or freedom from disappointment.
While we can’t control what happens to or around us, we can change our lives for the better by increasing our resiliency. What’s that you say? Well, simply put, resiliency is our “bounce back factor”. It’s our ability to experience something negative and get back to our positive selves more quickly. It doesn’t mean we don’t feel sad, angry or depressed sometimes, but we spend less time in that headspace.
Ok, so how do we increase resiliency?
1. Build a support system
We are happier and healthier when we have people with whom we share our joys and our troubles. Build relationships with family, friends, church groups, neighbors, service groups, etc.
2. Increase spiritual connection
In other words, find something larger than yourself with which to connect. We are never truly alone when we feel connected to the universe, nature, a higher power, or something else that has personal meaning. We can find strength in these things.
3. Increase hopefulness
When we feel hopeless, it can be challenging to turn it around. However, it is possible! Focus on times when you overcame difficulties. How did you do it? What helped? If you were able to make it through then, you can do so again!
4. Shift your perspective
Finding meaning in what happens to us is one of the most powerful things we can do – and it’s something we automatically do all day long. You don’t choose what happens, but you do choose the meaning you give these experiences.
5. Be flexible
The only constant in life is change, but change doesn’t have to cause pain; it’s our resistance to change that causes pain. Find ways to remember that even if things may not go the way you wanted or expected, you will get through the rough times and enjoy the good times. We never know when something good will be right around the corner.