Life is not always peaches and cream. Learning how to bounce back when times are tough can help you enjoy the inevitable roller coaster we sometimes ride.
Have you ever met someone who seems bulletproof when it comes to life’s trials? I often wonder why some of the kindest people I know are constantly bombarded with challenges of life; and how they always seem to bounce back very quickly with little or no damage to their soul. I have seen them emotional, so I know they are not hiding with their head in the sand. I believe they are simply resilient.
According to the American Psychological Association, resilience is “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats of significant sources of stress-such as family and relationship problems, serious health issues, or workplace, and financial stressors. It’s basically bending instead of breaking.
Anyone can learn to be resilient, I was forced to choose resilience or stay in bed and cry it out….(I actually have done that a few times)
I’d like to share with you some of the things I have found useful to build my resilience and be prepared for the next time life decides to throw me a curve ball.
- FACE YOUR FEAR: I had no choice but to face my fears; cancer was a fear I never knew I had until I was diagnosed with it. I took time to learn everything I could about the nasty villain; from reliable sources. I soon found out if I didn’t face this head on, it would restrict my life but not extinguish the villain. In other words, even if I ignored it, I still had cancer. So I asked questions (a lot of questions) I didn’t want to know statistics but wanted to know what I could do to help myself get through the difficult times.
- BUILD FRIENDSHIPS THAT MATTER: One of my coping skills I mastered was my blog, I used it to connect with people who were going through the same process; but restricted it to those who were interested in being positive. One of the most important things to have when you are going through a difficult time is to open your circle of friends-and be open to new relationships. I learned the hard way it is important to have people you can rely on and who can rely on you. Giving support to others to just as important as receiving it. As brave or determined you might think you are, you need a support system that can catch you when you fall.
- FIND A SENSE OF PURPOSE: Nietzsche a German philosopher said it well “He who has a why to live for, can bear almost anything” I learned really fast what was important to me; family. Living your life on purpose gives you purpose and meaning in a way you probably never knew you could. There are so many distractions in life to keep you from living in the moment. When you find a reason to live and fight for you can be pretty darn strong. One of the everyday purposeful things I do is give back to other’s-service get’s you out of your own world and gives you a sense of wellbeing.
- BEING PHYSICALLY ACTIVE: This one was harder for me to grasp and took a few years to realize I needed to re-evaluate my physical activity. Before my diagnosis I was training for my first Marathon. Most of my life I have been an athlete, I love running, cycling, lifting weights and cross-training. It was a part of my life, 6 days a week I was in the gym and running the track. It came to a complete halt when the doctors suggested I stop running and cut down in my gym classes. When asked to just walk or do some exercises at home I was appalled thinking “walking? seriously? who does that?” I’ve now opened my mind to the idea that some exercise is helpful for both emotional and physical resilience.
- EMBRACE CHANGE: While change is not always easy, it’s an inevitable part of life. Why fight it? You cannot control some of the things that happen to you, but you can control how you handle them. I try to to tackle things head on and stay optimistic in regards to the out come.
We don’t always know when stress will strike, but we can be better prepared to meet it when it does by following these 5 steps I have learned to embrace. Resilience is a learned behavior–but it’s ok to feel sad, angry or disappointed. When that happens to me I go into my closet, scream, cry, yell or pray for help but when I step out of that closet I know it is game on and I dry my tears.
XOXO Monya Bonbon