We've all heard of this confusing paradox before: someone who seemingly has nothing is happier than the next person who has everything.
Just as we hear stories of the wealthy and privileged actually being unsatisfied with their lives, we also hear tales of those who face great illness, poverty, or loss...but instead, they deal with the cards they have been dealt with a wildly positive outlook. Most of us can only sit back and ask why and how those going through tough times are not succumbing to the frustration and grief we imagine we would be feeling in their shoes.
This ability to overcome any situation is often labeled as something called resilience--if it does not come naturally to you, know that it can be learned and why you should want to obtain it.
Choose to reframe what's happening
In times of disappointment or struggle, reframing your situation is a powerful and empowering way to increase resiliency. Rather than focusing on what is lost, you instead acknowledge how you feel and then redirect your energy towards your opportunities gained instead. This ability to reframe your situation is a valuable skill in any setting, and you will only get better with practice.
Choose emotional balance
This is similar to reframing, but asks that you understand the power of negativity. Heidi Reeder, Ph.D., author of the book, Commit To Win: How To Harness the Four Elements of Commitment To Reach Your Goals, tells us that negative situations impact people five times as much as positive situations do. Those with resilience choose to even out the positive and negative, rather than focusing on just what went wrong, or even solely on what is going right. This balance helps you deal with stress in a more effective manner.
Choose to Let Others Help
Social ties are crucial for our mental health, and if we maintain meaningful relationships, they can keep us resilient. Craig Malkin, psychology instructor at Harvard Medical School, asks that we share our vulnerable feelings to gain emotional strength. Plus, he says, "People who share in this way come to see themselves, and the world, in a better light."
Yes, sometimes it seems like some are born with the rare superpower to overcome all of their tough obstacles with incredible ease and grace. But, it turns out, resilience is less a genetic blessing and more a simple choice. And isn't choosing to be strong a lot more empowering than merely having resilience handed to you? Choose to find out!