What is resilience? Resilience is that inner strength that helps you rebound when life knocks you down – in any area of your life. Whether it’s a personal failure, a demanding boss, stressful family situations, health issues, or dating and relationship problems, you don’t have to let the bad stuff steal your joy when you’re resilient.
But if you don’t have sufficient levels of inner strength and resilience, you risk obsessing about your problems, or feeling overwhelmed or victimized. In a worst-case scenario, you might start coping in unhealthy ways, like using drugs or alcohol. It’s true that resilience won’t magically make your problems disappear. But it can help you enjoy life more and make it easier to handle stress and adversity when life, or love, knock you down.
Sometimes dating can become so discouraging that many people take themselves off the market, right before they might meet a great guy. But if you’re not in the right frame of mind, it’s probably not the best time for you to jump headfirst into the dating pool. That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure that your head is in the right place for the dating process, and that you do your best to stay there, no matter what dating fiascos come your way.
The good news is, research shows that you can become more resilient. But cultivating your inner strength won’t necessarily be easy. It will take hard work and perseverance. But it can be done, and that will make coping with any problems, not just problems in your dating life, easier for you. When you make an effort to cultivate resilience, it will serve you in all aspects of your life. No one is guaranteed a problem-free existence, but your resilience will help you get through the bad times.
Here are some of the factors that can begin to improve your ability to cope with life’s challenges. If these seem too overwhelming for you, or you’ve found yourself using drugs or alcohol to deal with your distress, you might be struggling with a mental health issue. It’s common for people to turn to alcohol to alleviate painful emotions, but this isn’t a healthy way to cope. But there is help out there if this something you’re struggling with. Improving your ability to be resilient can protect you from developing a mental health condition, and it can also lessen the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
What are some ways you can improve your resilience and cultivate your inner strength?
1. Get the right support. Your resilience is better when you have strong, positive relationships with other people who can give you comfort and acceptance throughout your life. Good friends and supportive family members can make the dark times seem less bleak when you have someone there to listen and offer their sympathy and compassion. Eliminate toxic people from your life, and spend your time with the people who lift you up and that you can lift up too.
2. Adversity is a growth opportunity. It’s not easy to see a silver lining in trauma or loss, but there may be a way to grow from the pain you are experiencing. You might be able to relate to others who have experienced similar losses. Going through hardship can make you more empathetic and supportive of other people who are down. You might be able to learn from any mistakes you made and prevent these issues from happening again. We tend to learn more about ourselves and life during periods of adversity, than in periods of happiness, although we may resist learning anything if we see ourselves as victims. It’s important to remember that none of us escape the suffering of life. Failure can be our greatest teacher if we’re open to it.
3. Finding purpose and meaning. When we go through hardship, we learn the tools to get through it, and we share what we’ve learned and helped others who are going through a similar process. Helping others can feel very rewarding and might help you feel that there was some value to your suffering.
4. Optimism and gratitude. Remaining hopeful that things will get better will enable you to endure the rough patches of life. Despite our challenges, we can always find something to be grateful for. If we lose a family member, at least we have others who can understand our feelings of loss.
5. Take good care of yourself. It’s even more important to eat right and get enough sleep when you are going through a rough spell. Do things you enjoy and try to stay active. Extreme stress can impair your immune system, but taking critical self-care measures during times of adversity will maintain your health.
No one likes pain, suffering, and stress. But going through adversity and struggle is what matures us, and it can also make the good times seem even sweeter. What’s helped you the most through the hard times of your life? Please share with us in the comments section.