Resilience: How to overcome difficulties?


Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficult situations and avoid giving in to powerlessness. Our lives are filled with unexpected changes and sometimes 180° turns troubling and even traumatic moments. Some of these changes or moments will be anecdotal, while others may call our existence into question.

How to overcome difficulties?

In all cases, a resilient state of mind will help you better manage these situations but also your stress, reduce the likelihood of developing depression, and even live longer. It will allow you to learn from your experiences and cultivate a realistic optimism by taking care of yourself after a failure, by continuing to move forward in your daily life.

1. Face difficult situations

It is often complicated to stay calm in difficult times, as stress prevents you from seeing the situation clearly. Managing your stress will not only help you deal with difficulties more calmly, but will also help you keep a cool head and face what is happening to you rather than running away or trying to ignore the situation.

If you are overworked and tired, look for tasks that you can take off your agenda. Do enjoyable activities that allow you to relax completely, and schedule a specific time to do so.

Meditation will also help you clear your mind and reduce stress. Studies have shown that as little as 10 minutes of meditation can relax you as much as an hour of sleep and help you deal with your problems.

If you feel overwhelmed or on the verge of burnout, meditation will help you slow down and keep control of the situation.

Another alternative is yoga, a study from Harvard Medical School seems to show that people who practice yoga are less sensitive to outbursts of anger and more able to manage the difficulties in their lives. When you practice yoga, especially by taking difficult postures, it builds your endurance and thus your ability to "hang in there" in difficult times, finding the resources to stay calm and determined.

Don't hesitate to get support if you need it, maintaining good relationships with family and friends will help you get the help and support you need when things get tough for you. You can also count on therapies or any other source of help you need, it's not a sign of weakness to ask for help, it's the opposite.

2. Cultivate your resilience

Taking action and tackling your problems head-on will enhance your ability to deal with difficult situations. Passivity in brooding over negative thoughts and ideas will not make the things that make you anxious go away.

If, for example, no one wants to publish the novel you have written, it does not mean that your value is measured in the quality of your work. You are not the sum of your work, you have the ability to get what you want. Be proud of having already done this work, and persist in your path or try something new.

If you've been laid off, don't give up and immediately look for another job. Take the opportunity to find something that will bring you more and make you happier, even if it means changing careers. It may not seem like it now, but in a few years, being laid off will probably be the best thing that ever happened to you. Think about the positive sides of the situation and build a solution that works for you.

Look for your purpose in life. Having goals and dreams will help you develop your resilience. Whatever those goals are, big or small, will help you bring meaning to your life and give you the energy to keep moving forward. Make a bucket-list of everything you would like to accomplish in your life.

Keep this list in a safe place and review it regularly to check on your progress. Live your life according to your values and beliefs, don't make any concessions on this.

Beyond having goals, it is necessary to build a plan to achieve them. Whether you're looking to graduate, improve your fitness level, or overcome a break-up, it will give you the strength and motivation to move forward.

Make a list of all the goals you want to achieve next month, in 6 months, and in the year ahead. Also make sure that each goal is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based).

Take stock week after week, month after month to get what you want. While it is not possible to plan for everything, having a plan will help you keep a clear guideline and increase your chances of success. Talking about your goals with people you have a high opinion of will motivate you to follow through on them.

3. Adopt a positive mindset

Developing positive thoughts will allow you to feel positive emotions, which in turn will improve your resilience. Of course, it is not easy to be positive after a love break-up or a serious accident. The important thing is to remain lucid about your situation because we often tend to amplify the consequences of negative situations.

Even if in one particular area it doesn't go the way you want (for example, in love), look for things you enjoy in other areas of your life. If your health is not good, think about your surroundings, your finances, your spirituality, etc.

Also, think back to everything you have managed to do in your life up to now, what place does this negative event have in your life as a whole? Will it have the same impact 10 years from now? Take the necessary distance to free yourself from these negative emotions.

Accept the change. According to research, this is even the royal road to resilience. Learn to see change as a challenge rather than an upheaval. Keep an open mind and don't immediately judge people for what they look like, what they do, or what they believe is right. This will help you see the world differently and you will inevitably learn something new.

Try new things, no matter how small. Whether it's going home another way, reading other kinds of books, or getting into an activity you know nothing about. Think of it as an opportunity to grow, to adapt, and above all to evolve. Sometimes the changes we experience do not fit with our desires, yet some time later we discover positive aspects that had escaped us at the time.

Don't expect to be positive all the time. Our lives are filled with moments of joy, sadness, anger, and many other emotions. Accepting that positive and negative emotions can coexist is very important for your resilience. Don't try to hide or ignore your emotions, but take the time to withdraw and feel them fully.

There will also be obstacles and problems in your life as in the life of any human being. Sometimes we imagine that we are the only ones to experience tragedies, yet this is not the case. All you need to do is a little charity work to convince yourself of this.

4. Develop your problem-solving skills

Not knowing how to manage your problems prevents you from being resilient. By having methods in mind to solve your problems, you will be able to solve them rather than feel powerless. Here are a few tips to help you see things differently:
  • First, understand your problem. You may be dissatisfied with your work because you're not getting paid enough, but if you dig a little deeper, you'll see that it's because you feel you're not doing what you love. This will open the door to problems other than the one you were attacking in the first place.
  • Find more than one solution. There is not just one solution to a problem (for example, leaving your job to volunteer full time), believing this will create difficulties for you in the long run because your solution is not practical or feasible. Instead, list all the solutions and select 2 or 3.
  • Go for it. Evaluate your solution and see how it helps you manage your situation. If your solution doesn't work, don't take it as a failure, but as a learning experience.
learning from your mistakes. Focus only on what you can handle and let go of the rest. Look at what you've learned from your mistakes, it's not all bad luck either.


5. Kintsugi: The Art of Resilience

Kintsugi is a Japanese art that consists of repairing a ceramic object by sprinkling the cracks with gold to highlight them. It is also a metaphor that explains that we are sometimes "broken" by certain events, but that we don't need to hide them or pretend nothing has happened. Sometimes these wounds, whose scars can be seen, are also marks of courage, strength, and resilience.

We may be broken by some of life's trials, but this is not the end of the road, we must take the time to pick up the pieces, perhaps rediscovering them from another angle, and then patiently place them one by one, allowing our bodies and minds to heal and repair themselves.

We are not perfect, nor invincible, each break or crack will then be an opportunity to live a change, perhaps to think and compose one's life differently, to be better. This allows you to gradually make peace with your past and look to the future with serenity.