This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Feel Positive in Tough Times


Life is rarely Perfect

Life is rarely perfect, and sometimes it’s wildly chaotic. Life is always beautiful. Being resilient will help you remember that through every dark time.

Practicing these skills will strengthen your ability to bounce back from the curve balls life can throw your way.

Keep these tools in mind and apply them to all areas of your life. Changing your thinking and behavior will strengthen your relationships with others, with yourself, and with the world around you.

Without the use of these skills, things can begin to feel like they are out of hand. You may not feel resilient, but you are. Using these skills will help you uncover how resilient you are. 


Remember the meaning of resilience.

Resilience isn’t something you were just born with. Resilience can be learned and developed with the use of a few skills. Part of being a human is facing life’s curveballs. Part of being resilient is growing through those opportunities rather than letting them keep you down.

You can learn something from every moment, and developing your resilience will help you do that.


Toughness is part of resilience.

Toughness includes admitting sadness. It’s okay to feel negative emotions. Sometimes, life makes us feel sad. It’s healthy to allow yourself to feel these feelings. What is important is what you do next. The actions you take when you’re down set the tone for the next wave of opportunity.

When you practice resilience, you’ll find more intrinsic-motivation and feel more hope. The skills that go into being resilient are excellent for leadership, relationships, and self-compassion.

As you think about your thoughts, you’ll become more self-aware. You’ll feel empowered to build the life you want to live.


Develop your emotion regulation skills.

Despite how it may sometimes feel, you have the freedom to choose your thoughts and reactions to certain stimuli. It’s important to understand that feelings and thoughts are not facts. The best way to begin working on changing your attitude about this is by simply noticing your thoughts.

One thing you can do when you’re in a negative emotion spiral is to take a step back and reframe the situation. It’s easy to fall into traps where we tell ourselves stories about the worst-case-scenario. If you find that you’re lost in a contrary assumption, try balancing out your negative thoughts with positive possibilities.

Part of being resilient is being able to sit with emotions. You are allowed to have negative emotions, and you’re allowed to admit it when you do. You can find ways to have feelings without acting on them. Mindfulness skills are a great way to access calm in the chaos.

A helpful way to build yourself up is by adding to your positive memory bank. No matter how small, the more happy memories you have, the better. Getting out and doing something fun is a great way to come out of your shell and increase pleasant feelings. You can also practice gratitude, balance your thoughts, and explore your hobbies.


Take responsibility for your path.

You have every bit of power within you to create the life you want to create. No matter where you’re now, you get to choose your next step. You can look at your life objectively to observe what could change, what needs help, and what you’re proud of.

Begin by getting curious about your thoughts and behavior. Look at your situation and examine if there is a role you played in this. Sometimes it’s hard to admit or hard to see. Taking responsibility requires humility. If you do owe someone an apology, make it as soon as you can and keep the conversation an open dialogue.

It can be challenging to move forward from difficult situations or to make an apology when you’re carrying around resentment. You can forgive others without their help. Work on forgiveness exercises frequently to move past resentment for your own development.

If you want to change, begin making changes by making small adjustments to your daily routine. By working these things into your morning or evening habits, you’ll be better able to stick to them.

Set reminders that will go off throughout the day, so that you remember to practice mindfulness. You can also check in with your feelings and see what you can learn from each moment.


Cultivate a strong community.

Having a community strengthens resilience significantly because it adds so much meaning to life. An active community increases feelings of purpose and strength. Having others around who care and love profoundly adds security. Complicated things are made bearable by those we surround ourselves with.

There are many ways to build a stronger community with those you do know, and begin new relationships with those you don’t know. Think about your community and how you might want to adjust it. You can participate in activities with existing friends or join a club and try something new with a new group of people.

It’s helpful to be authentic when you’re interacting with others to build the most reliable connections.

When you’re communicating with those around you, there are a few things to keep in mind. Be aware of your body language. Having an open and receptive posture makes you more approachable. Active listening means genuinely engaging in the conversation, and it will let the people you care about know that you’re there for them.

Use your community to hold you accountable. Having a support group surrounding you will build you up during difficult times and celebrate with you when life is good.

When you’re trying new things and setting new goals, use your community to keep you in-line with the way you want to live your life.


Strengthen your relationship with yourself.

Self-compassion is the key to resilience because it prioritizes your relationship with yourself. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish.

Loving yourself isn’t selfish. By truly giving yourself the care and attention that you need, you’ll nurture all forms of growth. 

A vital part of self-compassion is recognizing critical self-talk. Begin by merely observing the negative phrases you tell yourself daily. Once you notice what you say to yourself, work on coming up with balancing thoughts that are positive and reaffirming. Praise yourself for your hard work and willingness to change. 

Give yourself permission to be kind to yourself. Choose a self-compassion activity that works for you and make it a regular part of your life.


Get your body in motion.

Exercise is an excellent remedy for both mental and physical health.

Physical benefits are boundless. Psychological benefits are also a considerable part of an exercise practice. By creating new neural pathways in the brain and releasing feel-good chemicals, exercise is a natural medicine for mental health. It eases anxiety, depression, stress, and other distressing issues.

Confidence and feelings of self-worth increase with exercise. This is an important skill to add to your habits, so it’s crucial to find a way to exercise that works for you.


Challenge yourself.

Building resilience starts with you. Your flexibility begins when you start taking action. Moving forward means you need to take the first step.

When you come to feel empowered over your life, you can take any action you need to create the experience you want to live.

Challenging yourself means encouraging yourself to go after your full potential. Setting goals pushes you to strive for what you’re capable of. Believe in your best and go for it. 

Start by thinking of your wildest dreams. Set up some long-term goals and then start with short-term goals. Short-term goals are valuable stepping stones. Set goals each week to help move you forward.


Living according to values, lights the way.

You can use your set of values to give you guideposts that will lead you toward the life you want to live. If you can imagine what your values look like in action, you can start following those actions. If you have a decision to make or a step to take, consult your values.

 Following these seven steps will help you to build your resilience and find a strength that you never realized you had.