Resilience is a word we hear more and more about these days. Only recently, Ed Miliband was quoted in the papers to say, “You need resilience in this job. You need fight. But above all, you need belief in what you are doing.” So what did he mean? What is RESILIENCE?
Resilience is something we all need to make it through the tougher times in life. We all experience rough times, crises, and life events. Resilience is the process we use to adapt to these challenges. It can be learned and developed.
Resilience can be defined as“The ability to recover or rebalance from change or stressful situations and be better than before”. This implies we learn through the hard times and become better for them. Nietzsche said “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”. This is a big part of resilience.
This week I was working in London and I stayed at a hotel in Kensington. One evening, as I was walking back to the hotel, I saw a man sitting hunched on a perch outside a building. His head was down and he looked so dejected. I asked if he was ok. He was trying to get enough money to pay for a bed in a hostel. His sadness touched me.
The following morning, walking back to work, I saw another man. He was sat upright on a street bench with his sleeping bag up to his armpits and woolly hat on. He was smiling. I smiled back. He told me he was there to make the most of his day. He wasn’t asking for money but he was ‘looking forward to his day’. His sense of contentment touched me. Both of them were in similar circumstances and they each had a different feeling towards their circumstances. To me the first man wasn’t feeling very resilient whereas the second was full of it. The first man was weakened by circumstance and the second embraced and enjoyed it.
So what is the difference? Working as a coach I meet a lot of people with varying issues they wish to work on. Some absolutely believe it is possible and others feel daunted by, and inferior to, the task ahead of them. Some are feeling resilient and some are not.
Several factors are involved in having resilience. These include looking after yourself physically, being aware of and able to control our emotions, developing mental toughness and having a purpose in life. Below are some top tips to help you find your strength and develop resilience.
- Concentrate on what you can influence
- Eat a balanced diet
- Take time out of your busy day to focus on the moment and be mindful of it
- Notice and acknowledge your feelings throughout the day
- Be kind to yourself
- Choose healthy low GI snacks in between meals
- Do things that you enjoy
- Write a list of your gratitudes
- Drink enough water daily
- Focus on what has gone well through the day
- Sleep for 8 hours regularly
Shona McFarlance, Transformational Coach and Facilitator
In my series of blogs I’ll discuss the importance of Resilience.
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