Why is it that some people bounce back after disappointment or trauma, and others can’t seem to move past it? Some claim we are born with resilience, but psychologists say it is not genetic. They believe that resilience is developed over time through coping mechanisms. It may also be linked with the amount of adult support we received as children that influences how we recover from negative experiences later in life.
Women as a group are more resilient than men. Of course, that may be my own biased female opinion however it seems that women have to prove themselves time and again in both their careers and life in general. Many of us have been knocked down and told we are not good enough or that we can’t accomplish something. This takes its toll. There are so many triggers for each of us to surmount. Being ridiculed or bullied, even in adulthood, wears us down. The death of a loved one is the ultimate devastation. While we all handle situations differently, it is true that some are able to bounce back quicker than others. Feeling pain and dealing with disappointment is part of any healing process. But being able to rebound and move forward takes a positive mindset, some training and determination.
There are many contributors to stress and, as we all know, it can cause depression, lethargy and disease. It is important to get the proper sleep and eat well. Sleep gives you a fresh prospective to enable you to view problems differently and find solutions. It also helps you to avoid feeling run-down. A proper diet fuels your brain and body to give you energy to solve problems. Breathing techniques and exercise release negativity and trigger endorphins.
It is so important to surround yourself with a strong social support system. We need to avoid chronic complainers and people who exhaust us just by being around them. Avoid people who are stuck in a rut because they will probably drain your energy and bring you down. We need to surround ourselves with confident people who help us to grow and look towards the next goal.
When things go wrong, we usually blame ourselves. This defeatist attitude leaves us stuck to the floor in negativity. If you find you are self-blaming or targeting blame on others, try a reframing technique. Reframe your thoughts toward what you can do to avoid a repeat of the problem and it will set you on the positive path.
When a crisis occurs, it is difficult to think clearly. That is why it is so important to create a strategy ahead of time to help you deal with the issue and plan how to move forward. For example, let’s say you are turned down for that promotion you know you deserve:
Following these strategies and exercises can help you develop your coping mechanisms over time and enable you to build up your resilience. Whether it is a minor difficulty or a major life crisis, the same techniques will help you through. Learn to be your strongest self and prepare yourself for success, regardless of the crisis you are facing.
*Reference: “How to Bounce Back From Anything” by Elaine Chin, M.D. and William Howatt, Ph.D., Good Housekeeping, July 2018