Resilience – it’s not something we are born with but it’s an important skill to have and usually develops early on in childhood and continues to develop as you get older.
Australia has encountered some catastrophic events in recent years – the ongoing drought, the country in and out of lockdowns (as a result of COVID-19), bushfires, followed by floods, and then the mouse plague – we’ve seen it all.
When situations like this occur, it brings so much uncertainty as we’re not sure what’s going to happen in the future, and this is where we can appreciate how strong and capable we are by being resilient.
What is resilience and why is it important?
Resilience, in a nutshell, is the ability to be able to cope with certain challenges, overcome obstacles and recover quickly when a stressful situation arises.
The reason being resilient is so important is because it allows you to look at each obstacle you are presented with, take a step back, process the situation, and gain some perspective. This enables you to recognise and understand that you are able to overcome certain situations and life will continue to go on when certain challenges are thrown your way – no matter how big or small.
Preparing yourself for these types of situations not only continues to build on and strengthen your resilience, but can also improve your overall health and wellbeing.
How can you strengthen your resilience muscle?
There will be times when life is running smoothly and then you’re thrown a massive curveball – this is where your resilience muscle will kick in.
How you view adversity and stress is critical, as this will have a major impact on how you react and cope with disruptions in life. It also sets the tone for how quickly you bounce back and recover from these situations.
Here are a few strategies that can help you strengthen your resilience:
- Foster a positive mindset – negative thoughts can impact how you react to stressful situations
- Exercise – daily exercise releases endorphins and increases serotonin which has a positive effect on your mood
- Personal control – spend time focusing on what you can control and set goals
- Talk to friends and family – sharing your problems can help ease the burden and they can always provide some advice that may help you
- Keep a journal – writing down your feelings can be a good way to express yourself and de-stress if you don’t want to share your feelings with others
- Learn from your mistakes – making mistakes is a part of everyday life and drawing on past mistakes can help you to reassess decisions you make in the future
Resilience in the truest sense
Whilst Australia has experienced some of the worst disasters with bushfires and floods in recent years, it’s also brought out the best in most and shown that overall Australian’s are a resilient bunch.
Farmers in rural and remote areas across the country suffered greatly due to the drought, and like many businesses in the city during the COVID-19 outbreak, farmers and their families had to ‘pivot’ and look for other opportunities to earn money.
This is when the ‘Buy From The Bush’ campaign was developed. It’s a great initiative where gifts, homewares, and arts and collectables amongst other things can be purchased online, which helps small businesses in rural areas that are struggling financially throughout this period.
Throughout this period, it showed us that in the face of adversity resilience is a vital skill for us all and having the support around you is key when faced with difficult challenges.
Focus on a positive mindset
Remember, having a positive mindset helps us achieve a better outlook on life, we smile more, we laugh more, and we try to resolve things more simply.
Two quotes come to mind when it comes to a positive outlook – you must keep in mind ‘there is always light at the end of the tunnel’ and ‘always look on the bright side of life’.
Most importantly, we must remind ourselves that challenging times won’t last forever
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