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Resilience: Your New Secret Weapon

Resilience. It’s your ability to recover from difficulties and adverse events. Think of yourself as a human rubber band. When you get stretched out, do you spring back into shape? In other words, when you face trials and tribulations, are you able to recover? Individuals who are resilient bounce back faster than individuals who are not resilient. So the question is – how do we increase our resilience? 

1. Write it Out

After something bad happens, say you flunked an exam or got in a fight with a friend when you were in the wrong, do you replay the scenario in your head over and over again? Does it seem impossible to just let it go? Psychologists coined a word to describe this action: rumination. Rumination prevents us from moving on. It prevents us from healing our wounds. If this is true, then how do we make it stop? One possible strategy is writing in a journal. After something alarming happens, write down your thoughts, feelings, and insights about the issue. Studies suggest that when we confront our feelings, we can change our perspectives. This may lead to gaining a sense of control.

2. Find Meaning

When a horrible event blindsides you, it can be hard to gain some perspective. However, within every trial there is a lesson to be learned. What did you learn from this event? Conversely, try to find the positive side of the situation. Either way, you’re finding meaning within the setback.

3. Practice Gratitude.

Gratitude is the secret to success. It forces us to focus on the good and not the bad. Try this simple exercise: every morning while you’re drinking your coffee or eating breakfast, get out a pad of paper and write down three things that you’re grateful for. It could be anything from the cup of coffee you’re drinking, to your new job, to your mom, to your fuzzy slippers. The sky is the limit here!


Written by GUADS staff member Angelina with contributions from psychologytoday.com and greatergood.berkekly.edu.  



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