Craig was recently reflecting on his own resilience and how strong the human mind really is.
When things get tough our coping mechanisms spring into action and help us manage the difficult and challenging times. You may hear people say things like ‘I’ve had enough’ or ‘I can’t take anymore’, but knowing what ‘enough’ is really depends on the individual. For example, some people survive terminal illness and carry on to lead amazing lives; others may lose the battle against illness but carry on ‘til their dying day, determined to inspire others and live a full life. Or there are those who lose their job, yet pick themselves up and forge a new career. Resilience is inside all of us, in bucket loads and it’s up to us to decide how much we really have. Six top-tips stand out in how to increase our resilience levels and stay strong:
What do you want?
Make sure you have a clear picture of the positive, end point for you. Talk about it, envisage what it will be like when you’re there and imagine it often. Knowing where you’re going will help you stay on track.
Inside or outside of your control
When faced with tough times it’s useful to think about what’s within our area of control. Think about the situation and look for elements of it that you can control. When you find them, do something about them, however small they may seem. If they’re outside of your control, you can’t impact the situation, but you can always choose to feel differently about it. This action in itself will put you back in control and help you focus more on what you can do.
It’s all in the mind
Do you tell yourself ‘I’ve had enough’ or do you tell yourself ‘I can do this’? As daft as it may sound, positive self-talk will help the brain know that you’re in control and will help you choose the right behaviours. The brain does what we tell it too. If we tell it good stuff, it will help us find ways to achieve good things; if we tell it bad stuff…well, you can guess the rest, can’t you?
Cut yourself some slack
It’s OK to have a rough day; real life is made up of ‘ups and downs’. Focus on finding more ups than downs and you will be just fine. Learn from them and tweak your mindset and actions to suit. And like any great Hollywood movie, there will be a happy ending, even if it seems distant to start with!
Talk about it and listen
We all hopefully have people we trust who we can talk to. Get their advice and listen to what they tell you. You don’t have to act upon it, but you should always listen in the knowledge that they are trying to help you.
All the small things
Enjoy the small things in your life, however silly they might seem; the first coffee of the day, the sunrise, listening to music that makes you smile. Whatever it is, appreciate it and look forward to it.
As with all things, we have a choice and we can decide what we think and how we want to behave. If you want to learn how much resilience you really have, be daring and choose one or two of these tips and commit to putting them into your everyday life and see what difference it could make for you. We’d love to hear how this works out for you…