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4 Ways to Become More Resilient

Resilience requires practice

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Quick Win

Resilience is a skill that can be strengthened through practice. Simple activities ​such as​ picking up a new hobby and being more mindful can help build resilience.

Try this today
  • Embrace optimism. When a situation arises, look for the positive over the negative. Ask yourself: How is this situation presenting me with an opportunity?
  • Practice mindfulness. Being mindful can help you to regulate your emotions and increase your objectivity, leading to better decision​-​making and optimism. For a simple mindfulness exercise, sit quietly and focus on your breath. Start with five minutes a day and work your way up from there.
  • Stretch your mental agility. Step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself to try something new. You could learn a few words in a foreign language each day, read a book on an unfamiliar subject, or pick up a new game (which may also improve your working memory). Strengthening your ability to process and adapt to ​information can help you to tackle adversity.
  • Nurture your social connections. Social support can increase your resilience to stress. Sometimes we lose touch with people, so take a moment to reconnect. Send a quick text to an old friend or stop and chat with a neighbor when you’re out for a walk.
Why

Humans are good at adapting to hardships — and we can even teach ourselves to become more resilient. “It’s just a matter of getting better at it with practice, like building up any muscle in the body,” says ​​Eva Selhub, M.D., a resiliency expert and author of Resilience for Dummies. 

 

Practicing mindfulness can help. In a Frontiers in Psychology study published in 2022, researchers asked 231 Malaysian adults ages 18 to 40 to engage in daily guided mindfulness practices. At the end of ​a ​four-week study period, those who displayed more mindfulness via a questionnaire reported higher psychological well-being and lower psychological distress. A​ review published in 2020 in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews found that people who felt socially connected, loved and cared for had a lower risk of death and detrimental health conditions, such as depression, compared with people who were socially isolated.

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