Top Tips for Resilience

Resilience is one of your best chances of defence against stress. When we feel stressed, it’s all too easy to do what we feel like doing and not what will really help in the moment. Learning resilience can build your defences against mental illness, burnout and addiction to unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Here are our top tips for building mental resilience and protecting yourself from stress –

  • Find support-  Positive social support has been shown to improve resilience to stress. It can be tempting to want to isolate yourself when you’re feeling stressed but sharing your thoughts and feelings with a trusted friend or family member instead can be a way to tackle the issue head on and improve resilience. If you’re struggling to cope with challenging or stressful events in your life, speaking to a mental health professional can help – it takes a lot of strength to do this and is never a weakness.
  • Practise being straightforward and assertive when communicating with others. If people are making unreasonable or unrealistic demands on you, its ok to be able to say no. ‘No’ is a complete sentence and you do not have to explain your reasons to anybody when it comes to protecting your wellbeing.
  • Positive affirmations –  Positive affirmations can help you unlearn negative thoughts and help you think more positively about yourself and your life. You talk to yourself more than you talk to anyone else so if you’re constantly telling yourself you’re not good enough, for example, you’re going to start to believe it and act accordingly. Talk to yourself like you would your best friend. Repeating affirmations, such as “I am confident and capable,” has been shown to decrease stress, enhance well-being, and reduce the effect of negative emotions.
  • Deal with the issue – We don’t always have the answers to solve a problem but if you can see the next clear step, it is better to take it than to bury your head in the sand and wait for it to pass. Write down the issue and the possible way forwards if it helps. There might be some discomfort involved in tackling things head on but worse may come about from avoiding it altogether.
  • Stay active – We talk about the importance of this a lot but it is so true. Physical activity is especially beneficial for people facing significant stress.
  • Get outside – The simple act of sitting on a park bench or taking a walk can have a profound effect on your mental well-being and resilience.
  • Have a laugh – Laughter is a highly effective way to relieve stress. Research investigating the benefits of laughter in veterans, terminally ill individuals, and teenager has shown laughter to be protective against stress. Watch your favourite comedies and spend time with people who make you laugh.
  • Mindfulness and meditation –  Mindfulness doesn’t have to mean lying on a yoga mat while someone bangs a gong over your head. Enjoying a meal without distractions, taking some deep breaths or putting your phone down for a while and acknowledging the thoughts in your head are all examples of mindfulness. Reflecting in a journal is also an excellent strategy for practicing mindfulness. Try jotting down a few things for which you’re grateful or reflect on some of the positive aspects of your life. Meditation also helps improve resilience by bringing your mind to the present moment and calming racing thoughts. We provide Masterclasses on both Mindfulness and Meditation as part of our Wellbeing Academy