Things are pretty crazy right now. Our routines are messed up, plans we made are cancelled, and our anxiety and stress levels are at an all-time high. Unfortunately, we can’t control when tough times happen, but we can change how we look at them and handle them.
An important characteristic in managing difficult situations is resilience.
What Is Resilience?
Resilience is defined in a few key ways.
Some people look at resilience as a character trait that allows us to be mentally tough. Others associate resilience with physical endurance and being able to push your limits, which is why athletes are typically considered resilient.
Peter Clough, a psychology professor at the University Of Hull, developed the 4 C’s definition of resilience, which encompasses: challenges, confidence, control, and commitment.
He once tested numerous athletes by giving them a questionnaire assessing their levels of the four C’s, then asking them to hold weights at arm’s length for as long as possible. The athletes who scored higher on the four C’s outlasted the others considerably!
How Do We Develop Mental Toughness?
In Peter Clouth’s studies, people who viewed tough situations as challenges they could have some control over and confidently adapt to were more resilient. One way to increase mental toughness is to realize that failure or challenges are not the end, but only one door closing.
Many times, we can grow from overcoming our challenges and this expands our mental toughness. The more we continue to try our best, despite huge obstacles, the more we will overcome and then become increasingly confident in our abilities, creating even more resilience!
Practices to Strengthen Our Resilience
While many resilience studies point to our upbringing, where a supportive, but challenging environment is favored for promoting greater resiliency later on in life, many studies also point out that we can absolutely increase our mental toughness at any point in our lives!
Positive affirmations are a powerful tool in developing mental toughness. Saying positive affirmations focused on confidence building or using character strength cards, like the ones from our last box, are ways we can mold our inner thoughts.
This change in mindset will promote great mental toughness in ourselves as we blossom with greater confidence in our abilities to overcome obstacles.
Develop Your Sense of Purpose
Another recommended tool is visualization! Whether this looks like meditation, journaling, daydreaming, or vision boards for you, this is a beautiful way to promote control and a sense of purpose in your life.
Picture yourself nailing that job interview, overcoming obstacles, and achieving your biggest goals and dreams! Visualize these scenes and outcomes in as much detail as possible.
Visualization is so powerful that our minds often mistake it for a memory and act as if we’ve already overcome these challenges and achieved our goals!
For an added boost, try these exercises with family or friends. Make a pact to practice affirmations, complete the same workout challenge from afar, or share your vision boards with each other to inspire and bond over your amazing dreams and goals.
The more we can connect with others, increase our own self-esteem and purpose, and learn to view challenges as opportunities, the more resilient we’ll become!
Share with us your tips for weathering tough times and being resilient in our private Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/liveloti where we join together to achieve our goals of living a mindful and purposeful life.
With kindness and love,
The Loti Team xo