Battling Life’s Ups and Downs—5 Tips for Cultivating Resilience
Life is a basket of ups and downs. It is constantly changing. And while some people bounce back and actually seem to flourish from adversity, others resist it and eventually crumble under its pressure.
What is the difference? What sets thrivers apart from crumblers? The answer, in short, is resilience.
According to Merriman-Webster, resilience is a person’s ability to become strong or successful again after adversity. Furthermore, it’s the capability to return to the original position after being pulled or stretched.
Everyone is faced with adversity at some point, whether it’s from relationships, finances, career roadblocks, family chaos, loss, physical, emotional, or psychological setbacks, and the list goes on. So, how is your resilience? And what steps are needed for cultivating resilience? How quickly or successfully are you able to bounce back when faced with a dilemma?
If you’re looking to bolster your ability to come back after difficulty (which you should, everyone should!) read on:
Practice positivity. Research suggests that those who are more resilient have a daily repertoire far different from those who don’t. Resilient folks are able to experience a spectrum of emotions, both positive and negative, even in the face of difficult situations. When not-so-resilient folks are faced with adversity, all of their emotions turn negative. In order to become more resilient to life’s challenges, look for the silver lining in all situations, the good and the bad.
Learn lessons. There is a lesson to take away from every situation in life, and learning to embrace those that come out of difficulties is especially important for your resilience. Instead of focusing on what went wrong, try and pay special attention to what you learned from an experience or what you could do differently. According to clinical psychologist David Sabine, Ph.D., resilient people respond to adversity by asking questions such as, “What is the solution to this problem?” or “What is this situation trying to teach me?”2
Reshape response. One constant in life is that it will always throw you a curveball. Sometimes all you have control over is your response. But that little bit of control is empowering, if you let it. When troubled times find you, take a moment to gather your thoughts before responding. Always look for the calmer, smoother, and most beneficial solution. Do not respond in anger or frustration. Wait for those emotions to ebb before choosing your reaction. In this way, you have some control in every situation life dishes out.
Create confidence. Resilient people tend to have a higher level of self-confidence. Self-confidence means that, no matter what, you know you will eventually be successful. Truly confident people can see through setbacks and frustrations and know that they will come out on the other side a stronger and better individual. Knowing that, in the end, you’ll be ok is absolutely essential to resilience.
Focus on flexibility. Adversity requires a fair amount of flexibility. As things pop up, causing change in your life, you’re going to have to adapt. You can begin practicing flexibility today with some of the simplest tasks. Instead of being dead-set on a singular solution, take other approaches into consideration. When dinner plans get canceled or someone lets you down, take it in stride, finding alternative routes to get to your desired destination. With daily practice, your flexibility will be fully equipped the next time something big pops up.
Resilience is the tool you need to get through some of life’s most challenging situations. If yours isn’t up-to-snuff, you’re more prone to crumble under the pressure than thrive. These tips will get you started on cultivating resilience in your own life.
 Merriam-Webster. (1828). Resilience. Accessed April 26, 2016. Retrieved from https://ariix.com/blog/evenings-routines/.
 Sholl, K. (2011). The 5 best ways to build resiliency. Accessed April 26, 2016. Retrieved from https://experiencelife.com/article/the-5-best-ways-to-build-resiliency/.