25 Ways to Boost Resilience
Part 2 of 2 in this blog series, “Cultivating Resilience for Total Well-Being"
Posted May 21, 2013
Guest author Karen Horneffer-Ginter is a psychologist and author of the new book “Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit: Nourishing the Soul When Life's Just Too Much”. She writes with humor and honesty about how we can move from lives of disconnectedness and overwhelm toward lives of more fulfillment.
"Karen’s 25 Ways To Boost Resilience"
Resilience in the moment:
2. Allow yourself to feel your emotions. Sometimes having a good cry or fully feeling our emotions in some other way can help us re-find our center and feel less overwhelmed by our feelings.
3. Take a run. It can help to get moving—in whatever way we choose—to let go of stress, increase our energy level, and release endorphins into our system.
4. Remember a time of resiliency in your past. What allowed you to find a sense of courage, strength, and hardiness in the past? By remembering such life moments, we can create a metaphoric trail of breadcrumbs back to this place within ourselves.
5. Lift some weights. Engaging our physical strength can allow us to feel stronger emotionally. Free weights, squats, and empowering yoga poses can all help us reconnect with the hardiness in our body.
6. Talk with someone you trust. Having meaningful and honest conversation can help us feel less alone and allow us to gain clarity about what we most need.
7. Take a morning off to recharge. Unplugging and stepping off the wheel of our doing can offer just the reset we need to re-find our center.
8. Take a time-out bath. Either in its simple form—or with the additional of candles, bubbles, and a relaxing scent—unwinding with a bath can help us decompress and relax back into our resiliency.
9. Think of someone you know who exudes resiliency. It can help to pull up an example of embodied resiliency as we attempt to reconnect with our own version of inner-strength.
11. Go about the ordinary tasks of the day. Sometimes it helps to simply get back into our routine, even if we don't feel up for it. Returning to the familiar can help re-settle things within.
12. Take a walk in nature. It can feel refreshing to get outside, clear our mind, and invigorate our senses. Sometimes this offers just the recharge we need.
13. Write in a journal. Writing down our thoughts and feelings can help us make sense of what’s going on and appreciate that life’s challenges are also opportunities for growth and learning.
14. Boost the resiliency of someone else. Sometimes, the best way to reconnect with our resiliency is to support someone else by offering our encouragement and kindness.
15. Notice your feet making contact with the floor. Simple as this reminder might sound, it can help us feel more grounded to notice the soles of our feet. You can also visualize roots extending down into the earth and imagine that with each in-breath, you’re drawing up nourishment and strength into the core of your body.
16. Have compassion for yourself and your humanness. Sometimes the quickest route to reconnecting with our resiliency is easing up around our expectations that we should always be strong and invulnerable.
17. Listen to empowering music. Put on some songs that help re-ignite your courage and strength.
18. Take several intentional breaths. Breathing in and out in an invigorating way can help recharge our sense of vitality and hardiness. It can be useful to forcefully exhale, and then allow a natural inhalation (known in yoga as the “skull cleansing” breath).
19. Take action. When we’re feeling overwhelmed and helpless, it can help to identify a concrete step we can take to improve our situation.
20. Remember you’re not alone in your experience. It can be helpful to recognize the universality of our human emotions, remembering that others also feel vulnerable and overwhelmed from time-to-time. As we aspire for greater levels of resiliency, we can wish the same for all others.
Resilience over time:
21. Form a resiliency support group. Identify a handful of like-minded people who can offer support and inspiration. A group of two also works!
22. Keep a collection of inspiring quotes. Seek out phrases and quotes that help connect you with your deepest truth and resiliency. It’s great to have these handy when you’re in need of inspiration.
23. Create a mantra. Come up with a slogan or a brief statement of your intentions, so that you can come back to this when needed (e.g., "Even in the face of uncertainty, I move forward with strength and love").
24. Carve out a daily self-care routine. Identify activities that support you to feel your best—these may include exercise, meditation/prayer, adequate rest, and healthy eating. Experiment to see what works best for you.
Read part 1 of 2 in this "resilience" blog series here, in which Brad shares "10 Traits of Emotionally Resilient People"
Karen Horneffer-Ginter, Ph.D. is the author of "Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit: Nourishing the Soul When Life's Just Too Much" (Hay House, 2012). For more information about Karen, please visit her website