Do you crumble in the face of adversity or thrive under pressure? We look at some ways you can build your resilience and manage stress.
The term resilience describes a person’s capacity to bounce back from stressful situations. Being able to cope under difficult circumstances can reduce the incidence of mental health or behavioural problems such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and antisocial behaviour.
There is also emerging evidence* that young people who display resilience are more likely to achieve school success.
Here are five ways you can build your resilience.
1. Look after yourself
In a fast-paced world, we all need to take time out for ourselves occasionally. Engage in activities you enjoy, exercise regularly and ensure you get enough sleep. Taking care of yourself helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with tough situations.
2. Think positive
Resilient people are optimists. Maintain a positive outlook and find ways to build your self-confidence. Keeping a sense of perspective in stressful times can help you to solve problems and avoid blowing the event out of proportion.
3. Accept change
We live in a world of constant change, so being adaptable when responding to uncertainty is a key life skill. Rather than expecting to have full control over everything in your life, instead expect the unexpected. Be open to different points of view and rather than resisting change, try to engage with it.
4. Make connections
In a TED talk which has achieved over 11 million views, Stanford University health psychologist Kelly McGonigal discusses how the stress hormone, oxytocin, motivates us to seek support from people who care about us.
Building close relationships, whether that is with colleagues, family or friends, can help you to recover more quickly from stressful situations.
5. Learn from your mistakes
Failure is one of life’s common traumas, yet our responses to it can vary widely. Seeing failure as a learning opportunity is one of the traits of resilient people. Appreciating your mistakes for what they are can help you to overcome fears, take responsibility and live a life without regrets.
Building Resilience in Young People – Youth Research Centre, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
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