7 things that make you more resilient

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going”, is a popular saying that seems to stem from the 1950s, first mentioned in the context of American Football. How does one develop the capacity to face adversity in a positive way, to be more resilient? Here are seven aspects that can help you: 

1. Pervasiveness
When faced with a challenge, let’s say an illness of the kidney, you an easily become overwhelmed by it, thinking or feeling like this is all that’s happening to you. Of course this is not the case. Whilst you might have an issue with your kidney, you can notice all the other organs that are in perfect health.

2. Permanence
Reminding yourself that whatever you’re feeling, it will probably change and not last forever. 

3. Gratitude
Reminding yourself that there is a lot you can be grateful for and that not everything is bad. A daily practice of writing down three things you are grateful for can already make a huge difference. 

4. Humor
Laughing is a tonic. Practice to find humor in even awkward situation. 

5. Self-talk
Reflect upon your inner voice and notice what it is telling you. Are you your own worst enemy or your best friend? 

6. Mindfulness
Notice how you feel and what is going on around you. Develop a mindful approach to life, an approach filled with kindness towards yourself and others. Between a trigger and your reaction there exists a space of awareness, use it. 

7. Relationships
You are not alone, others can help you and you can take advantage of that. Invest in building quality relationships with family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. 

We humans

We humans are remarkably different, e.g. in what we look like, what we think about and what we feel. We build our worldviews through nurture and nature and come to create a life so distinct from one another. Beneath all this there are a lot of similarities, though. According to Abraham Maslow,we all crave to satisfy our physiological needs, our need for safety, for love & belonging, for esteem and for self-actualization.

What is particularly fascinating is how differently we humans we can respond to the same occurrence, e.g. a serious illness. As Viktor Frankl wrote in his book Man’s Search for Meaning: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

I recently watched a documentary named Dealt. Its a story about Richard Turner, one of the world’s greatest card magicians, despite being blind! Its a magnificent story about resilience, determination and about how tenderness and vulnerability open up a path towards being more human.

Addendum, 17 December 2018: here is a link to a podcast interview with Richard, Episode 124 of The Human Experience podcast.