9 Essential Skills That Make You Resilient

“While these adverse events, much like rough river waters, are certainly painful and difficult, they don’t have to determine the outcome of your life. There are many aspects of your life you can control, modify and grow with. That’s the role of resilience. Becoming more resilient not only helps you get through difficult circumstances, it also empowers you to grow and even improve your life along the way.” Ada.org

9 Essential Skills That Make You Resilient

We all have the ability to be resilient, but we need to know and grow the skills that boost that quality. The resilience and well-being expert Amit Sood, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, explains which skills to focus on.

By Amit Sood, MD at Everyday Health

https://www.everydayhealth.com/wellness/resilience/essential-skills-that-make-you-resilient/

Skills like connection and forgiveness make us more resilient when we face life’s challenges.

Resilience is our ability to withstand life’s challenges and bounce back. It’s a child with a disability trying her best to solve a puzzle. It’s a nurse serving patients with a smile despite struggling with depression himself. It’s a patient with advanced cancer choosing to find gratitude every single day. It’s cleaning the house, paying the bills, doing the laundry, going to your job, and finding time to laugh with your family and friends even in the moments when you don’t feel like it.

Resilience isn’t a fixed trait that you have or don’t have; it’s something you grow and work on. And there are certain skills that help you do so, explains Amit Sood, MD, the executive director of the Global Center for Resiliency and Well-Being and the creator of Mayo Clinic Resilient Mind in Rochester, Minnesota.

Below, Dr. Sood shares nine of those skills that make us resilient, and he elaborates on how to develop each one.

1. Composure

Why it boosts resilience

A surprise diagnosis, a stuck elevator, a flat tire, a lost wallet — life offers countless scenarios that throw our equilibrium off balance. These situations (particularly the disturbing ones) can shift our thinking patterns from rational ones to reactive ones.

How to get better at it

To be more resilient, stop, recognize the disruption, and take a minute to think about how you want to respond. Opt for solutions that represent your values and protect your interests.

2. Patience

Why it boosts resilience

Listening is an art that tests our patience, especially when the other person shares something we don’t want to hear or when we’d rather be the one doing the talking. Patience is a marker of resilience.

How to get better at it

Giving others our full attention when they’re speaking, delaying judgment, and letting others complete their thoughts uninterrupted makes us better listeners — and therefore more resilient.

3. Optimism

Why it boosts resilience

Hope is the expectation of a better tomorrow. The hopeful are happier, healthier, and even live longer. While it’s certainly easier for most of us to feel optimistic on days when the world is good to us, it’s just as important to stay positive on the darker days.

How to get better at it

To get better at seeing the bright spots in tough times (and stay resilient), remember happy moments, the people who support you, your strengths, your purpose, and what you believe in.

4. Gratitude

Why it boosts resilience

Gratitude is like pizza toppings. We don’t need it, but its presence makes the experience a whole lot more enjoyable. An attitude of gratitude strengthens our relationships and overall well-being.

How to get better at it

To get better at being grateful, you need to practice it in both the big and small moments — you’ll get more resilient in the process. Be thankful for something simple, like a deep breath, a glass of water, a creative insight, a smile, a hug, or something that arrives on time.

5. Acceptance

Why it boosts resilience

Most of us love control, but so much of life is out of our control. You have a choice: Either get rattled by uncertainty or embrace the reality of uncertainty. (Hint: The latter will boost resilience.)

How to get better at it

Embracing the uncertainty means engaging creatively with the unknown. Do it by being open and accepting of what comes your way. You’re saying yes to life ― to the bad, but also to the good.

6. Kindness

Why it boosts resilience

We choose to be kind — and it takes considerable willpower to do so. Physical illness, fear, losses, insecurities, and most energy-depleting experiences decrease our capacity to act kindly toward others and ourselves. (Think of your temper when your back is aching or you’re stressed at work.) Not treating one another with kindness, however, stands in the way of coping, healing, and problem-solving.

How to get better at it

Commit to being kind to others and to yourself (even when it takes more effort). Kindness boosts resilience.

7. Sense of Purpose

Why it boosts resilience

Recognizing our purpose helps us focus our energy, keeps us engaged, makes it easier to be hopeful, fills us with courage, and — you guessed it — bolsters resilience. Purpose can come from a pursuit to help other people or to abide by a set of values.

How to get better at it

To identify what gives your life purpose and meaning, think about it. Write it down. It might be one big thing. It might be a whole lot of little things. You’ll know you’ve landed on it if it makes you smile and feel inspired.

8. Forgiveness

Why it boosts resilience

No matter how wonderful your friends, loved ones, and colleagues are, you will have misunderstandings and they will disappoint you. You have a choice: Fester the resulting hurt or find healing. Forgiveness decreases the load of your hurts, which frees up your brain to focus on the things that make your life meaningful and bring you joy.

How to get better at it

To be resilient, take back the power from the person who hurt you by letting go of the grudge and spending your energy where and on what you want to.

9. Connection

Why it boosts resilience

Loneliness doesn’t mean we don’t have people around us or we don’t have people to do things with. We can feel lonely in a party of a hundred people or feel deeply connected in the company of one or two good friends. Loneliness is a lack of true connection to others, and it’s harmful to our minds and our bodies.

How to get better at it

Build resilience by cultivating strong relationships with at least a few people. They will help you nurture hope and courage — and they can boost physical health and longevity, too


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