Life doesn’t come with a roadmap. On your journey, you’ll encounter bumps, sharp turns, and more than a few dead-ends. It’s easy to lose your way during these difficult times and feel as though all your hard work and effort is for naught.
But all of your life experiences ultimately add to the person you are today. Difficult breakups and saying goodbye to loved ones are hard, but these experiences teach you to be more empathetic and understanding of others who are also going through tough times. Likewise, missed opportunities for growth can leave you feeling empty. However, in the long run, a missed opportunity teaches you more about yourself than successes ever can.
The key to learning from the twists and turns of life is resilience. Resilience looks different for everyone but developing an adaptable, growth mindset can help you work through challenges and raise your energy.
WHAT IS RESILIENCE?
Resilience is something of a buzzword amongst self-help advocates and counsellors — and for good reason. Resilience is like a skeleton key that unlocks life’s hardest lessons and helps you see the positives during difficult moments.
But developing resiliency is, in itself, challenging. If you’ve never had a resilient role model, then you may struggle to see the silver lining or bounce back from a setback.
However, you can still become more resilient over time and with a little support from people close to you. For example, you might create an external network of support that you can lean on when you feel overwhelmed. Alternatively, you might focus on reframing the problem, and break a large challenge up into smaller, actionable steps.
The key is to think challenges through and understand the problem you’re facing and how it is impacting your energy.
THINKING IT THROUGH
The ability to think through life’s challenges is an underrated skill. But the American Psychological Association (APA) maintains that resilient thinking “can be cultivated and practiced”.
Now, just thinking about your problems won’t necessarily help. Letting your thoughts spiral will likely leave you feeling overwhelmed and lacking energy. Instead, you need to give yourself a productive medium to think with.
Fortunately, art provides a wonderful space to think clearly and raise your energy. Simple artistic practices like journaling, doodling, or painting can help you see your challenges from a new perspective and provide you with the momentum you need to move forward.
Choose a medium that suits your lifestyle and excites you. Then consider the following questions as a prompt:
- What does calmness look like to you? Does it have a certain smell or feeling? Is it a particular colour or shade? If calmness were a scene, what would be included in that scene?
- When your heroes go through adversity, how do they react? This can be fictional or true to your life, but try to choose someone you know well and who inspires you to overcome challenges.
- Recall a time when you’ve felt pride. This can be something small, like being kind to a stranger, or you might focus on a major life achievement. What positive things would that version of yourself say to you now to help you overcome a challenge or problem?
Expressing yourself through art like poetry, painting, or journaling helps you reframe negative thoughts or feelings. At the same time, learning new skills and developing a hobby can raise your self-efficacy and help you focus on something other than your stressors.
EXERCISE AND SLEEP
Hobbies like art are great for self-expression and mental wellbeing. But you mustn’t forget that your physical health also impacts your thoughts, feelings, and energy. This means that, when building resilience, you cannot neglect elements of your physical wellbeing like your exercise and sleep.
Start by trying to find an exercise habit that works for you. This doesn’t have to involve hard training or competition, but can be something simple like taking up a gentle yoga practice or walking for mindfulness. Simply moving your body and practicing mindfulness bolsters your holistic mental health and helps you in your journey towards greater resilience and higher energy.
Sleep also plays a vital role in your resilience and energy. The CDC recommends that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night to maintain their energy and focus throughout the day. Failing to get enough sleep is a sure-fire way to derail your resilience and leave you feeling frazzled.
You can improve your sleep by creating a bedtime routine that promotes calmness and suits your lifestyle. Ideally, you’ll want to shut off all digital devices at least one hour before hitting the hay. You should fill the time you previously spent on social media with things like journaling, meditation, or very gentle bedtime yoga.
RESILIENCE AND RELATIONSHIPS
Resilience helps us get through challenges and overcome obstacles. But sometimes in life, you simply have to call it quits and move on. Intentionally choosing to move on from a bad relationship actually builds your resilience, and will help you lead a happier life in the long run.
Resilience is particularly important if you have recently been through a bad breakup. Leaving a partner or spouse can often feel overwhelming, and leave you questioning your entire identity. However, you must find resilience in these moments and remember that a breakup from a partner does not mean the end of your happiness.
You can overcome bad breakups and develop your resilience by leaning more on your social connections and creating a healthy routine that supports your physical and emotional health. Try to avoid unnecessary conflict, and set some goals that help you transform into the next version of yourself.
Moving on from a bad breakup can help you foster greater self love and raise your energy. Without realizing it, your previous partner may have been bringing you down and stopping you from reaching your potential. But, after a breakup, a resilient mindset allows you to grow and rediscover yourself.
Cultivating a resilient mindset is a great way to maintain your spiritual energy and grow from failures. You can develop greater resilience by practicing art like painting or poetry and maintaining healthy habits like regular exercise. Over time, resilience can help you develop greater self-love as you navigate life’s curveballs.
**By Frankie Wallace