By Carol Glover, MSW, LCSW
Through the past two years, we have collectively experienced numerous challenges in our personal lives, our communities, our nation and our world. With no clear end in sight, many of us feel worn out and emotionally uneasy.
We need an infusion of something positive to recharge ourselves. We need to build up our ability to bounce back from difficulties in order to regain a sense of stability.
We need resilience.
Resilience is developed incrementally in our lives as we succeed in meeting and overcoming problems and challenges. With increased resilience, we’re able to see opportunity amid hardship. Our confidence and courage increase, providing us with the skills to meet the next challenge with a stronger sense of competency.
The key element to resilience is something we might consider as grit, or the tenacity to continue addressing a problem until it is resolved. As with sandpaper, grit applied repeatedly to an area results in the smoothing down of any challenging bumps and obstacles.
But how do we increase our grit so we are ready to face challenges when they arise?
I’ve found one way to do this is through small, daily actions that grow our empathy and sense of connection to others.
These actions increase psychological flexibility and creativity, which help us to approach challenges from a more positive perspective. Additionally, when we feel connected, our overall sense of wellbeing improves.
Here are a few simple ways you can cultivate resilience (and grit) in your daily life through small, daily actions.
- Commit to performing one random act of kindness each day.
- Look for the bright moments in each day and write them down.
- Create bright moments for someone else.
- Say “hello” to a stranger.
- Send a “thinking of you” message to someone.
- Flip negative thoughts to the positive opposites.
- Seek the blessings or silver linings in each disruption or disappointment.
- Each day, write a list of 10 things for which you are grateful.
- Spend time in nature.
- Breathe deeply from your core.
It’s true that the world may feel chaotic and uncertain right now. But while we cannot control the events, but we can fortify our responses to them.
Resilience and grit are the keys to facing the coming challenges with courage, competency, connectedness and confidence. And who doesn’t want more of that?