How Can Mindfulness Build Your Resilience?
How well do you recover from something challenging, like fear, uncertainty, and doubt?
Life is unpredictable; there will always be high and low moments. Resilience is the ability to bounce back after hardships. The good thing about resilience is that it is not a personality trait. It is something that you can learn. Resilient people view adversity as a chance for mediating trigger responses, meditating, growing and learning.
Mindfulness has myriad benefits. Research has shown that psychological resilience is conspicuous in those people who are mindful. Mindful people cope better when faced with setbacks without being overwhelmed. They are able to step back and move away from the vehicle that is driving them. They can stop, take a breath, observe their thoughts, think through everything and that prevent themselves from wallowing in challenges.
Factors Associated with Resilience
- Positive relationships-most to themselves, others and potential outcomes.
- The capacity to make plans and take actions to carry them out.
- Effective communication and problem-solving skills (the who, what, when, why and how)
- The ability to manage strong feelings. This is where mindfulness comes in handy.
Difficult emotions are not the problem. Our reaction towards these emotions is what matters. When we experience and act on difficult emotions, the lower (reptilian) brain is in control. Emotions such as anger and stress are hard to escape. The more you think about how angry you are, the more you get caught up in it (rumination) and that makes you react even more so. But when mindfulness is present, it gives power to the higher brain (executive function), which creates resilience for you to cope with these emotions, to recognize, choose and act differently.
How to Build Resilience
People tend to react differently to traumatic events. What works for you might not work for the other person or another and so on.
Here are some of the ways to build resilience:
- Make connections. We all need to cultivate caring and supportive people within and outside your family. These relationships boost your resilience.
- Make decisions. Be decisive and act in difficult situations. Do not just sit around and ignore your problems hoping they will get better one day. Move a muscle and change a thought.
- Accept that change is part of life. Expect that things are not always going to work as planned. Accept that some things cannot be changed and focus on things that you can change.
- Be positive. Develop self-confidence and trust your instincts. Shift your attention from negative thoughts to positive thoughts, through mindfulness, which enables you to back up and gain perspective.
- Stop thinking that problems are insuperable. Problems will occur every once in a while and you can’t change that. Try to find and focus on good things and discover positive ways to deal with problems. You may be in the swamp, but your life is not a swamp.
When faced with setbacks, sit down, take a deep breath, acknowledge the challenges you are facing and talk yourself out of the situation by thinking positive. Mindfulness is the best technique to achieve resilience.
Do not forget how to live the moment!