How to Increase Resiliency
I’m sure we all could rattle off a list of clichés on perseverance and determination. We’ve been told our whole lives that “failure isn’t fatal” and “if you fall seven times, stand up eight.”
Well, I’ve got another cliché for you:
Easier said than done.
It’s one thing to experience failure and acknowledge the need to move forward, but it’s another battle entirely to pull yourself up by your bootstraps (last cliché, I promise) and actually do the work.
The ability to bounce-back from set-backs is known as resiliency; a trait that has been tied to a decreased susceptibility to mental health conditions, as well as better social and emotional health.
In a way, resiliency is like a muscle. The more we train it, the more capable we are of facing and moving on from failure.
It is important to note that resiliency doesn’t protect us from set-backs, or ensure that we will never face challenges. Rather, it equips us with the tools to face them head head-on, grow, and bounce-back stronger than before.
So, if resiliency is a muscle, how do we train it?
I’m glad you asked!
Connect with your Community
One word: infrastructure.
A support system holds us together, especially during hardships. This framework, built of people we trust, can look different for every person.
For some, it might be their family. For others, their friends. It can really be anyone who surrounds you, from your coworkers to your workout crew or your roommates.
Its versatility, however, does not make it any less important.
Having a supportive community has been shown to have a significant impact on mental health and, subsequently, resiliency.
In this article from NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), three specific benefits of community are outlined: belonging, support, and purpose.
When you are surrounded by people who share similar values and beliefs, you identify as a part of the group and find joy in “fitting in.”
Now, I want to make sure to distinguish between belonging and conformity; in a supportive community, you fit in by being your true self- not by changing to be more like everyone else.
These people that you experience a sense of belonging with will be there to support you when times get tough. Likewise, you will be there to support them.
This support can be shown in many ways; it could be lending a helping hand, being a shoulder to cry on, or even just listening to the person who's struggling.
When it comes to purpose, having a role within your community can add meaning to your participation. Knowing that other people are relying on you, and that you can fulfill those needs, can be an inspirat