Finding the Unsinkable, Unflappable, Bulletproof You
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
You’ve probably heard the saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” But is that really the case?
For some it may be. But for others, it’s not true. What makes the difference? Is it simply the luck of the draw, and some people are just born more resilient?
“Even though it may seem like some people are just naturally better at bouncing back quickly after tough times, that’s only partially true,” explains Christina Parr, director, Genesis Behavioral Health. “Everyone can take steps and build new habits that will help them become more resilient.”
Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” approach to building resilience. However, one way to home in on what to do is recognize your own areas of weakness so you can strengthen them.
For instance, if you look back on past experiences, you may recognize you’re fairly strong mentally in times of difficulty. But physically, you find yourself feeling tired or plagued by achy muscles, stomachaches or shortness of breath. In this example, focusing more on improving your physical health can contribute to your overall resilience.
Ten Steps to Help Build Resiliency
Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you work to build positive mental, physical and emotional habits that contribute to your overall resiliency. Most are very basic, but many people don’t follow them. Do you?
Go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep.
Stretch, take walks every day and move your body.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid sugar and junk food.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, too. Only take medications as prescribed.
Get involved in a cause you care about. It not only helps the cause; it helps you build strengths in yourself.
Remind yourself of things you’ve achieved in the past. You did it before, and you can do it again!
Discuss issues with friends who are not just close, but who are helpful and supportive.
Choose to focus on solutions, not problems.
Instead of worrying, attack problems head-on and make lists of things you can do and people you can talk to who can help.
Whenever you notice yourself feeling stressed, stop where you are and focus on taking several slow, deep breaths.
“Remind yourself that building resilience is an ongoing process,” says Parr. “There will be days that you may feel defeated—and that is normal. However, if the feeling isn’t going away and you are becoming increasingly stressed or overwhelmed, be sure to contact your doctor or talk to a trusted friend who can help guide you to the help you need.”