Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Tips for developing mental resilience in the face of adversity

Resilience is one of the most essential skills to develop in life. It allows us to overcome adversity and setbacks, as well as helping us to maintain balance during difficult and stressful periods. Developing resilience can help with our mental health, however, it’s not an easy skill to develop. 

Here are some things that can assist you in your goal of attaining mental resilience.  

Having a positive mindset

This is probably the most important factor when it comes to developing resilience. In life, challenges and adversity will come, and in times of difficulty, it can be hard to stay positive. However, what is crucial is that you try and develop a more positive mindset, though that’s easier said than done. 

A positive mindset can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel even in the most difficult of times. This increases motivation when it comes to dealing with difficult situations, therefore improving your resilience in the face of adversity. 

Reflecting and keeping things in perspective

Resilience can be defined as the ability to adapt and deal with difficult situations. To be able to do this best, it is crucial to put difficult situations into perspective. A lot of problems we face in the present can be tricky to deal with, but the chances are that not all of them will ruin our lives forever. 

Even when facing very challenging events, it can be helpful to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and try and keep a long-term perspective. It is very easy to blow a bad event out of proportion, but this can make it harder to recover from it. To enable us to keep things in perspective, it is helpful to take the time to really reflect on things that are happening, as this can help with finding ways to adapt and deal with current challenges.

Set aside time where you don’t think about the problem

Setting aside time where you don’t think about the problem can be done by doing something else such as going for a run or cooking a delicious meal, or it can be done by just telling yourself that you will not think about your problems in certain times of the day, such as just before you go to sleep. 

A huge barrier in the way of developing resilience involves easily letting problems consume your mind all of the time. This can lead to mental burnout, which can be avoided by setting aside time on a regular basis to not think about the problem. I was finding juggling committee life, social life, academics and job applications extremely difficult in the first term of university, but one thing I always enjoyed doing was going on walks around campus, as this allowed me to divert my mind away from the challenges I was facing.

Accepting the fact that you are currently facing challenges

This is a big one which is often not talked about. Recall that resilience can be defined as the ability to adapt and deal with problems and difficult situations. The first step in being able to deal with problems is accepting that the problem exists in the first place. 

In some cases, it is very hard to accept certain challenges and problems that you are facing, and denial can be seen as a coping mechanism that gives you time to adjust to hard situations. However, staying in denial can interfere with your ability to tackle these challenges. Even though it is definitely much easier said than done, accepting the challenges you are facing is vital, as then you can take time to put it in perspective and actively find ways to overcome the challenge, allowing you to stay resilient and motivated. 

I hope this has given a good insight into the ways in which I developed my resilience skills. It is not a skill that can be developed overnight, and it is something you develop over time, although it is such an important skill to have. 

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