Often adversity strikes and we are left feeling that those around us, while meaning well, don't exactly understand how we see life's struggles.
Clinical Psychologist Meg Jay has spent close to two decades studying adult development and listening to the stories of patients in her practice. She says “Resilience is not a trait. It’s not something you’re born with. It’s not something you just have.”
In other words, over the course of your life, you have learned techniques that can be applied to any of life's obstacles:
1. Your life's battles are valid, no matter what you’re facing.
Don't feel guilty or blame yourself. Your struggles are real and should not be compared to others'.
2. Remember, you're already strong.
No matter what, in becoming an adult, you've already successfully dealt with adversity. If you look back, you'll see that you have the strength within you to overcome.
3. Don’t wait, act.
Waiting and wondering about an outcome will not solve anything. You're likely already actively thinking about how you'll deal with the problem - take action.
4. Know your strengths and use them.
You may be smart, have a strong work ethic, or you may be a great communicator - whatever it is you do well, seize it. Harness your strengths to move forward.
5. Don’t attempt to go it alone…
Strong people have a secret weapon: a support system. It doesn't have to be a therapist, you can find support in your spouse, family, or your friends.
6. …and remember that it’s okay not to share with everyone.
Some people need a larger support system than others - this is normal. However you get what you need is less important than making sure you take advantage of the assistance available to you.
7. Find a way to give yourself a mental break.
While it's good to take immediate action, sometimes you need a break too. Whether it's a good book or some terrible reality TV, find a way to insulate yourself from feeling overwhelmed by a problem that can't be solved overnight. Get together with friends, or take a walk and turn your phone off, don't give in to the dread of an upcoming problem.
8. Be kind to yourself and remember all the things that made you more resilient.
All you have faced in life has served to better prepare your for any challenge. You've lived through it all, and you'll live through this too.