Conquer Stress With Ease: How To Build Your Resilience

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

Maya Angelou

In life, we will all experience varying stressors, traumas, and horrors. While life can radiate with beauty, we don’t leave this earth without seeing some of the ugly and gruesome.

Finding joy isn’t about eliminating the stress or bad things. It’s about learning how to conquer and cope with them. It’s about learning how to handle difficulty and uncertainty with greater ease and confidence.

Do you want to learn how to build your resilience? Do you want to feel more empowered in handling those difficult life moments? Consider the following suggestions.

Build Your Support System

We humans are social creatures. We need relationships with others to feel connected and secure. In difficult times, this support is even more critical.

Aim to surround yourself with healthy people who motivate, inspire, and encourage you to be a better person. Reduce or eliminate those individuals who drain your energy. If you don’t know the difference, reflect on the people who make you feel better after you spend time with them.

Regarding how many people you need, support isn’t a numbers game- it’s about the quality. Likewise, to receive support, you need to be willing to give it. If you cannot be a good friend to others, it will be difficult to sustain meaningful relationships.

Practice Stress Management Skills

If you don’t know how to cope with stress before a difficult event happens, you’ll only feel that much more overwhelmed when the stress arises.

Start preparing yourself by implementing a positive self-care routine that includes simple activities that promote both your emotional and physical well-being. These may include:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • Prayer
  • Journaling or artistic expression
  • Pursuing specific passions or hobbies

Consistency is a key factor. Remind yourself that practicing stress management skills is not an optional luxury. It’s an essential part of coping. Healthy people practice self-care regularly; they know that it’s what keeps them sharp, attentive, and confident enough to handle whatever the day may throw at them.

Focus on Gratitude

We’ve all heard of the phrase, count your blessings. As it turns out, this cliche doesn’t just apply to Thanksgiving dinner. Research continues to highlight the numerous benefits associated with regularly acknowledging your gratitude.

Fortunately, you can start small. Consider writing down three positive things that went well at the end of each day. Not much of a writer? Commit to your spouse or a loved one to verbally express these items to each other.

Grateful people aren’t out of touch with reality. After all, you don’t need to love all the events that happen in your life. However, maintaining an optimistic perspective can allow you to stay grounded (and even hopeful) about what lies ahead.

Are you struggling to find any meaning out of a particularly bad situation? The next time you’re faced with adversity, consider asking yourself, how can I grow from this?

Learn (And Practice) To Be Decisive

Resilient people know how to act quickly. You can cultivate this skill by practicing it during more neutral times.

Research shows that we make a staggering 35,000 decisions every single day. That’s a lot of potential practice opportunities for you! There is a time and place to research and investigate your options. But in stressful times, action (not reflection) is critical. When time is of the essence, we lack the luxury of weighing out our options. We must be willing to act quickly and intelligently.  

Practice making decisive, final choices. This may mean going with your gut. It also means knowing that you may not always make the right answer- but you’re willing to accept that.

Be Unequivocally Kind To Yourself

How would you react if your best friend was going through a difficult time? Chances are, you’d be gentle and understanding. But when you are the one in distress, it’s easy to be dismissive, angry, and judgmental towards your behavior.

During your next difficult time, can you practice applying some of that patience and compassion to yourself? While it may seem silly, giving yourself kindness creates an opportunity for reflection, and calmness.

Allow yourself to experience your emotions. This means accepting whatever arises- whether it’s anger or sadness or fear. Tell yourself (often) that you are only human, and that you are doing the best you can. Remind yourself that you are not alone. The more kindly you treat yourself, the more you will be able to trust yourself in this process. That trust can give you the confidence you need to keep moving forward.

Final Thoughts On How To Build Your Resilience

Knowing how to build your resilience is only one part of the process. You need to commit to the willingness to put these steps into action!

Remember that resilience isn’t about doing everything on your own. Resilient people know how, when, and why it’s important to ask for help.

If you feel like the world is swallowing you whole, therapy can offer invaluable guidance. Together, we can untangle you from the shards of your trauma or stress. Together, we can make you feel more whole again.

Are you ready to lean into support? Ready to rebuild your strength? Reach out to Willow Counseling today to begin your growth.

Willow Counseling, Nashville, TN

Willow Counseling, PLLC exists to provide quality trauma-informed mental health counseling to the Nashville community, recognizing the interconnectedness of our emotional, spiritual and physical selves. We work together to alleviate symptoms, learn better coping skills, relieve burdens, remove the pain of trauma, and so much more. However, our greatest desire is for you to know what it means to feel purpose and joy again and to recognize the strength and worth you have to offer the world. 


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