Whether you’re going through a seemingly endless parade of job interviews, dealing with a breakup or having some relationship problems, or just feeling overwhelmed with all of the tragic events in the news recently, everyone needs to be mentally resilient at one time or another. It’s hard to fight through adversity (especially when you’re super stressed), but there are steps you can take to push past the tough times and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Expressing your creativity is a great way to remain resilient (really! Science says so!), but Merrie Haskins, a counselor and psychotherapist, has three other ways to pick yourself up when times get tough.
1. Find people you connect to. “Mental resilience comes out of being part of community, like social groups, spiritual groups, volunteering,” Haskins said. “Someone always has it worse off than you do and seeing your power to help others helps you stay resilient.” When you rely on the people around you, you gain supporters who you can draw strength from. Spend time with your cheerleaders, especially when you’re having a hard time. Haskins also encourages people in tough times to care for others, which is an extremely therapeutic way to gain perspective on your own situation.
2. Look at the silver lining. Even the worst situations can have something positive about them if you look hard enough. It might be difficult, but forcing yourself to focus on the good things will help you see hard times in a new light. If you’re finding it especially hard, take some time to write those things down and keep them in a place where you’ll be reminded of them often. “Look for your strength, the good people around you, the helpful resources you have available,” Haskins said. “All these good things are reminders of all you have going for you and remind you that you have options and choices for what you want to do.”
3. Be thankful. “There is always an opportunity to be thankful for what you have and see the blessings,” Haskins said. If you think about hard situations as temporary setbacks in the larger context of your life, those situations will have less of a negative impact on you. Even if you’re experiencing something challenging in one part of your life, there are likely other parts where things are going well (or at least better). Don’t let yourself feel victimized; instead, be thankful for things that you do have and can control, no matter how small they may seem.
How do you stay mentally resilient? Let us know @BritandCo!
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