There are several factors that help us cope more effectively with stressful and traumatic situations. These factors improve our natural resilience and help us turn a distressing or depressing situation into one of personal growth and development.
On this page you will find some tips for helping you increase your natural resilience in the face of difficult events. We hope you find them helpful.
Writing gives you an opportunity to express whatever you are feeling about your situation without having to explain yourself, or justify your experience, or worry about how others will respond. It can also give you the chance to make something out of a terrible situation, even if it’s just a few pages in a journal, or a list of all the stressful things you are dealing with.
9. Acquire knowledge about the situation.
Accurate and current knowledge about the situation you are in will help you make more informed decisions. This knowledge can also help neutralize exaggerated fears, which often stem from the unknown.
8. Talk about your feelings with people close to you.
Every one of us sometimes feels the need to relieve the stress that accumulates during tough times. Talking about our experience allows us to “let off steam” and return to normal functioning. In addition, we may be surprised to discover that others feel similar to us. People who have close and meaningful ties with family and friends are shown to cope better during times of distress. Spending time with family and friends creates a sense of belonging and mutuality, and helps creates a support network for difficult times down the road.
7. Maintain physical health.
There is a proven link between nutrition, one’s physical condition and stress. Stressful situations present taxing demands on our bodies, and gradually deplete our physical resources. This typically results in fatigue and physical aches and pains. Taking responsibility for our body — healthy nutrition, physical exercise and enough sleep — gives the body an opportunity to renew its resources and repair the damage done by stress.
6. Relaxation exercises.
Practice of daily relaxation exercises like these can help you cope with the pressures and stress of everyday life. The more regularly you exercise, the more your body will learn to relax easily and maintain a natural balance. This will directly affect your mood and peace of mind. Try exercising once or twice a day, each time for several minutes.
5. Maintain a daily routine.
Keeping a daily routine can help you get the day started when it’s hard to even get out of bed. It might help to write down your schedule for the next day before you go to bed at night so you don’t even have to figure out what to do in the morning. When you’re feeling broken or scared, having a routine can help your mind to relax and focus on following the schedule.
4. Use your sense of humor.
Laughter allows us to see the brighter side of reality, and helps us emerge from situations of anxiety or stress. A sense of humor also improves our physical health and allows us to find creative solutions to difficulties.
3. Help others in need.
Find ways to volunteer and do something for others. Much psychological research shows that people who give of themselves feel more in control, more capable, and cope better with stressful situations. The very knowledge that we make a difference to somebody else is an incentive not to give up or give in to despair.
2. Devote time to a hobby.
Make some time each day for something that you enjoy doing: sports, art, hiking or anything else that speaks to you, so as to relax and remember that even in the difficult daily routine there are bright points that make living worthwhile.
- Cultivate hope and optimism.
In every dark situation, there are moments of shining humanity; try to find these moments and treasure them.