health, mental health, mental illness

Feeling frazzled? Adults need to work on resilience too.

 

shutterstock_145698575We spend a lot of time focusing on building resilience in kids, but the truth is, we all need to focus on ways to grow and protect our resilience.  This NY Times article describes some simple strategies that can help https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/25/well/mind/how-to-boost-resilience-in-midlife.html

Here are some of the ways you can build your resilience in middle age.

■ Practice Optimism. Optimism doesn’t mean ignoring the reality of a dire situation. An optimist would acknowledge the challenge in a more hopeful way, saying, “This is going to be difficult, but it’s a chance to rethink my life goals and find work that truly makes me happy.” While it sounds trivial, thinking positive thoughts and surrounding yourself with positive people really does help.

■ Rewrite Your Story. Study after study has shown that we can benefit from reframing the personal narrative that shapes our view of the world and ourselves

■ Don’t Personalize It. We have a tendency to blame ourselves for life’s setbacks and to ruminate about what we should have done differently. In the moment, a difficult situation feels as if it will never end. To bolster your resilience, remind yourself that even if you made a mistake, a number of factors most likely contributed to the problem and shift your focus to the next steps you should take.

■ Remember Your Comebacks. When times are tough, we often remind ourselves that other people  have it worse. While that may be true, you will get a bigger resilience boost by reminding yourself of the challenges you personally have overcome.

■ Support Others. Resilience studies show that people are more resilient when they have strong support networks of friends and family to help them cope with a crisis. But you can get an even bigger resilience boost by giving support.

■ Take Stress Breaks. Times of manageable stress present an opportunity to build your resilience. The key is to recognize that you will never eliminate stress from your life. Instead create regular opportunities for the body to recover from stress. Taking a walk break, spending five minutes to meditate or having lunch with a good friend are ways to give your mind and body a break from stress.

■ Go Out of Your Comfort Zone. Resilience doesn’t just come from negative experience. You can build your resilience by putting yourself in challenging situations.  Take an adventure vacation. Run a triathlon. Share your secret poetry skills with strangers at a poetry slam.

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