How do I become more resilient when things get tough?

When faced with unexpected and sometimes tragic life events, we can either strive and soar, learning to be better, or fall to depression and negativity. This guide will teach you to build up your resilience, so you can approach life events with confidence.

How is it that some of us are seemingly unfazed by the most tragic events and continue to move toward their financial and life goals with no interruption, when others crumble under pressure and fall into depression and negativity.

The ability to persevere and come out on top following sudden overwhelming, challenging and heartbreaking events in life is called resilience.

Is resilience something that some of us are born with and others will never get to taste? According to this article, it turns out you can train yourself to become more resilient.

Many researches suggest that resilient people are more flexible, they adapt to new circumstances quicker and easier, and they perform best in unstable environments. They are also known to expect to bounce back from any stresses and are confident in this ability.

Some are convinced that resilient people are adept at seeing situations from others' point of view. They are considered to be more empathetic. If you wish to build up your strength and learn to persevere, read the 5 best ways below:

  1. Pump up your positivity. Resilient people tend to find some silver lining in any situation, no matter how difficult or devastating. Their emotions are well balanced, in good times and in bad. For many of us, it is impossible to see any positivity in an unfortunate situation, we turn to negative thoughts fully and they consume us, taking away our ability to bounce back and recover quickly. For those of us who have a hard time seeing any positivity in negative experiences, there is a way to broaden our vision. The first step is to learn to recognize and appreciate the positive events in our life. Because of built-in survival mechanisms, our brain is wired to pay more attention to the negativity. So it will take some effort to appreciate the positivity. Learning to promote positive thoughts to set off on a path to positive emotions is also recommended. When you catch yourself thinking negatively about any part of your life, try to turn it around by asking yourself literal questions. For example, you tell yourself "I will never get the job of my dreams". The question to ask is "how is the fact that I haven't found the job of my dreams yet add up to never?".

  2. Live to learn. Looking at challenges as opportunities to grow, evolve and become stronger is a sure way to build up your resilience. In tough situations resilient people immediately look for solutions, they ask themselves Learner Questions, like "What is this experience teaching me?", "What is the best option for me?", instead of Judger Questions, like "Who's to blame?", "What's wrong?". Instead of running from pain, start looking at it as a lesson, as an opportunity to improve yourself, as a chance to become stronger and become a great problem-solver. Without pain there is no progress.

  3. Open your heart. Being of service to others is proven to have positive effect on strengthening resilience. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for feeling happy and positive is produced, when we engage in acts of kindness and is accumulated in our body and can be drawn upon in the hard times. Acts of kindness can be organized, for example, you could volunteer weekly at a soup kitchen. It is also suggested that feeling grateful for things in our life promotes resilience. A great exercise is to "un-adapt" yourself. Many of us have the privilege of familiar comforts, like a job, roof over our head, the ability to put food on the table... Thinking about what things might have been otherwise, instead of just how they are, thus using your strategic positive thinking builds up your gratitude bank and improve your resilience.

  4. Take care of yourself. Healthy body has a stronger spirit. In the tough times, people who's internal resources are depleted are known to fall apart quicker and bounce back slower. Good habits, physical activity, plenty of sleep, healthy diet all contribute to an agile and flexible mind, which in turns, improves our resilience. Spend time outdoors and surround yourself with people you love.

  5. Hang on to humour. Laughing in the face of adversity can be incredibly beneficial and relieve pain of body and mind. Laughter is known to reduce tension and stress to more manageable levels. Being able to play with a situation and find humour in it allows us to look at it differently, as if we are bigger than the problem.

Using these 5 techniques without a doubt will build up your resilience and will allow you to persevere adverse events in life. This will help you stay on course towards your goals, and towards financial freedom and independence.

Check out our Emotional Toolbox Checklist for additional tools and lessons on dealing with challenges in life.