The dictionary says:
‘Resilience is the ability to bounce back when things get difficult.’
Unfortunately you can’t grow your resilience muscle without adversity. The most resilient people are the ones who have been through the hardest of situations, and survived.
Adversity gives us an opportunity to build resilience. We can’t change the things that happen to us, however, we can change how we respond to them.
Here are my top tips to build resilience using the BOUNCE acronym
- OPEN UP
- CARVE OUT TIME
Tips for Building Resilience using the “Bounce” Acronym
B for “Believe in yourself”
We can sometimes lose our confidence when we are going through struggles, and this is why believing in yourself is key.
Imposter syndrome can kick in when we are feeling out of our comfort zone. Imposter syndrome refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be.
In order to overcome this internal struggle, it is important to be disciplined in self-compassion, dispelling self-critical thinking.
So how can you take control of your imposter?
- Notice when you start to feel imposter syndrome creep in.
- Ask yourself the question, would you talk to a friend the way that you talk to yourself?
- If the answer is no, what would you say to a friend who is feeling this way?
- Say this to yourself instead of offering yourself the same level of self-compassion that you would offer a friend.
O for “Open up”
Sometimes when we are going through a hard time we can internalise our feelings rather than opening up and being honest with the people around us.
In 2013 a study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Rochester showed, people who bottled up their emotions increased their chance of premature death from all causes by more than 30%, with their risk of being diagnosed with cancer increasing by 70%. So, who can you go to for different types of support?
U for “Understanding”
Initially change can be difficult, but over time we move to a place of understanding and acceptance. This takes as long as it takes, and unfortunately there is not a prescriptive time frame.
One way you can begin to come to terms with your new reality is by keeping a journal. Journaling offers many benefits across a variety of aspects of your life.
Through these processes, you learn about yourself and how to solve your own problems, what triggers you, and situations to avoid. Journaling also helps reduce the effects of mental illness.
Remember to show yourself as much self-compassion as possible when working towards acceptance.
N for “Navigate your thoughts”
Another way to overcome negative thinking is through thought recording. Here are some steps for doing that:
- Notice the situation you are in.
- Write down the negative thoughts that come to mind.
- Write down the emotions that these thoughts bring up for you.
- Rate the emotion out of 100%.
- Then write down what the fair and realistic thoughts are….what would you say to a friend in this scenario?
- Rate your emotions again.
You should notice that when you begin to think more fair and realistically about a situation, your mood lifts.
C for “Carve out time”
When going through a difficult time our thoughts can become more negative. One tool you can use to overcome negative thinking is introducing “Worry Time” into your schedule.
To do this, all you have to do is schedule 20 minutes each day to worry. During this time you can:
- Write a list of your worries.
- Cross out the things you can’t control.
- Write down as many solutions as possible to the things you can control.
E for “Endurance & stamina”
It takes one step at a time to build resilience. Hard times can feel to us like let’s say, the size of an orange, or a watermelon. These difficulties mould and shape us, and never really go away, but we grow around our grief and difficulties.
Instead of feeling frustrated or defeated, let’s look at adversity as an opportunity to bounce back and grow our resilience.
If you found this article helpful, you might find our other articles on resilience to be helpful too!
- Continuing the Fight: 6 Practical Tips for Building Resilience
- The Power Of Flexibility: Top 5 Tips for a Positive and Flexible 2021
- Raising Happy, Resilient Children…What Works?
About the Author: Lily-Jo
Lily-Jo is a qualified counsellor, counselling supervisor, and senior coach at Unstoppable Life Coaching. She is also the founder of mental health organisation, The Lily-Jo Project, which specialises in online digital wellbeing resources for children, teens and adults of all ages.