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10 Amazing Resilience-Building Hacks

10 Amazing Resilience-Building Hacks

Adversity, tragedy, loss, rejection, trauma, stress … living a life free of negatives such as these is entirely impossible. Yet, despite it all, we hear sayings such as ‘life goes on.’ While it may be true that life, itself does indeed go on, most people may not find going through life all that easy. Psychologists have coined the word RESILIENCE to describe the characteristic that creates the fiber, we, as humans have to be able to deal with the curve balls life throws our way and come through to the other side. Resilience-building is growing the elasticity that keeps us bouncing back in the face of adversity and negativity. We can find resilience in disadvantaged young children who survive abusive or neglectful upbringings and still manage to become productive, contributing members of society. We can find it in people who deal with chronic illness or experience severe setbacks. And we see it with elderly people who choose to push beyond the physical components of aging, and work tirelessly to share their life’s knowledge and experience with others and to contribute to society selflessly.

Now that we’ve clearly identified resilience, it is something that many of us would like to develop more of in our lives. Below are ten tried and true ways to do just that.

1. Self Care 101

Nothing can stand strong on a weak foundation. In order to even consider building resilience, we need to first learn and maintain a sound routine of self-care. Exercise and proper nutrition for our physical self-care, find and do things you enjoy for your emotional well-being, and learn to relax, refresh and reinvigorate regularly.

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2. Connect – connect – connect

Build your supports and you build your resilience. We all are faced with times in our lives when being able to bounce things off people who have our best interest at heart and truly want to see us succeed is a sure way to keep us handling the rough spots in our lives and help us get through to the other side.

3. Face adversity squarely

Disappointments, setbacks and other types of adversity are unavoidable. Learning to face it squarely and readjust our outlook toward a brighter tomorrow, helps us break through, stand tall and maybe even look forward to tomorrow being a better day.

4. Live the Serenity Prayer

We can’t move past something we don’t accept. By learning how to determine what we have the ability to change and what is out of our control, we can keep our focus on the things we can positively impact and off spinning our wheels and increasing frustration.

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5. Think Small

We build resilience through developing small successes in our every day lives. Just one tiny step in the right direction routinely, builds momentum. It may not seem like much, but even Mount Everest can only be scaled one step at a time. Small, achievable goals build life times of success and keep us moving forward, even when we hit a bump in the road.

6. Reality Show

Some of the most recent data on stress indicates that what makes it so unhealthy to people is our attempted avoidance of it. When things are not going well, resilient people face it squarely and determine their next move quickly and efficiently, rather than stress and fret over how badly things are going. By getting past it quicker, they have more energy left to actually correct the problem and build resilience.

7. Think Happy Thoughts

Focusing on the things we want helps us achieve them and also distracts us from focusing on things that don’t go the way we want. There is loads of documented proof that positive affirmations and visualization builds success and resilience. If we haven’t yet achieved our goals, by picturing them and focusing our energies on them, we bring them to us that much sooner.

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8. Perspective Means A Lot

By keeping things in their proper perspective, we avoid turning setbacks into insurmountable catastrophes . Keeping a ‘this too shall pass’ perspective in times of trouble, can be just the spoonful of sugar Mary Poppins was talking about that we need to get our medicine down, keep us going and help us to bounce back.

9. Self-Conviction and Confidence

There are very few things that build resilience as well as self-confidence and conviction of purpose. We hit on the perfect combination when we are able to believe in what we are seeking to accomplish and our own ability to get the job done. These two factors work together almost magically, helping to make us pretty much unstoppable. By combining these two factors, we can develop a surplus of resilience that can last for days.

10. Look at the Flip Side

Just like the old 45 RPM records, all life’s adversities have a flip side. For every weakening blow we are dealt, we also are shown a strength we didn’t realize we possessed. Learn to look for the strength that life’s adversities leave in their wake. Was that struggle one that helped strengthen or renew a relationship? Did that hardship help heighten your level of spirituality or appreciation for life? Find the positives that exist in the flipside of the hurdle and you’ll grow your levels of resilience beyond your wildest dreams.

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Resilience is not something we get and use up. Resilience is our emotional elasticity that we need in order to handle whatever life throws at us. And working to build it up is a life-long project. Start building your resilience today for more success, a stronger you, and someone who can keep standing even in the face of adversity.

Featured photo credit: Girl Standing in field of flowers at sunset via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go or motivated. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

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