Ten Ways to Build Resilience

By Dana Scoville

Resilience is the ability to withstand adversity and recover from difficult life events. Here are some ways to cultivate resilience.

A graphic design of a girl jumping and the words, "You can bounce back."

Make connections. Develop and maintain good relationships. Accept help. Be a part of a community. Volunteer.

Adjust your perspective. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. You can’t change the fact that highly stressful events happen, but you can change how you interpret and respond to these events.

Accept that change is a part of living. Certain goals may no longer be attainable as a result of adverse situations. Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on what you can alter.

Move toward your goals. Develop some realistic goals. Take consistent steps toward your goals, even if they seems small and insignificant.

Be Proactive. Take decisive actions. Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive actions, rather than detaching completely from problems and stresses and wishing they would just go away.

Nurture a positive view of yourself. Developing confidence in your ability to solve problems and trusting your instincts helps build resilience.

Keep things in perspective. Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Avoid blowing the event out of proportion.

Maintain a hopeful outlook. An optimistic outlook enables you to expect that good things will happen in your life. Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear.

Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly. Taking care of yourself helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with situations that require resilience.

Kindness and Gratitude. Being of service to others is a powerful way of stoking resilience. Also, receiving and appreciating kindness from others may be just as important as offering it up.

The great thing about building resilience is that you don’t need to do all these things, all at once or in any particular order, you just need to pick one or two and start practicing now.