Updated: Dec 19, 2021
Traumatic events are different for each individual and the effects of traumatic events are incredibly different depending on the circumstances of any situation. Thoughts related to trauma can be overwhelming, emotions related to trauma can be tumultuous, and there is almost always uncertainty to deal with in relation to trauma. Resilience helps us to adapt to life-altering, stressful, and ultimately traumatic situations and, although resilience does not negate the effects of trauma, it does reflect the way you react in the face of adversity, threats, tragedy, trauma, and other life stressors. Resilience is not only about the way we bounce back from trauma; resilience is also about personal development.
Resilience has a way of highlighting the parts of your life where growth and change are necessary, serving as a reminder that challenging situations do not determine the outcome of your life. The road to resilience usually involves significant emotional distress and while it is not normally a personality trait people possess, it is one that with time and intentionality, can be learned and developed.
Through connection, wellness, healthy thinking and meaning, you can be empowered to learn from and withstand difficult and traumatic experiences. Here are some tips for building resiliency.
The people who you surround yourself with matter. It is important to surround yourself with empathic and understanding people. Empathic and understanding people can help to negate feelings of loneliness, reminding you that you are not alone in your difficult experiences. These sorts of people are usually compassionate, trustworthy and validate your difficult experiences, this helps to build resiliency.
Connections with others can look like weekly date nights with your partner, a lunch date with a great friend or joining a local support group.
Self-care is more than a trend, self-care is vital to your mental health and building resilience. Stress affects physical health as much as it affects mental health. Have you ever heard someone say, the body keeps score? Part of working through the effects of stress on the body is in the way you care for yourself. This includes proper nutrition, a proper sleep schedule, proper hydration, and regular exercise. A combination of all of the aforementioned can help to reduce the emotional and physical toll of stress, anxiety and depression.
Wellness can also look like mindful practices such as journaling, meditation, yoga, or other spiritual practices. These mindful and spiritual practices can help restore connection and hope, these practices can prime you for dealing with stress and can help support you in situations that require resilience. In a difficult moment, it can be incredibly powerful to take stock of what you have gratitude for.
Discovering or turning towards your purpose encourages connection to Self and others. Helping others can feel empowering and ground you in your own humanness. You can volunteer or simply help a friend in need. By doing this you might discover increased self-worth, a closer connection with others, and a strengthened sense of resilience.
Being proactive in your own life is an act of empowerment. When you are proactive, you begin to find the answers to the question, “what is it I need to know?”