ISMA: Learn how to bounce back from adversity

Personal resilience is the ability to possess and demonstrate a robust and positive attitude in the face of challenging and threatening events. It is also about becoming a stronger person as a consequence of meeting and overcoming any obstacles to your happiness and progress in life. It is an essential, inner resource.

ISMA: Learn how to bounce back from adversityEvents happen all the time in our lives. You cannot entirely avoid pain, difficulty or tragedy. At some point, these things will present themselves. It is a part of the human condition that goes with everyday living, but you need to know how to meet it and move on.

Knowing that you have that inner strength to bounce-back in difficult times can be in itself comfort and personal empowerment. Instead of constantly worrying about fear and uncertainty, you can acquire reassurance in the knowledge that you have the fortitude to survive. This will greatly help you in your toughest hours, and prove useful time and time again.

You Can Increase Your resilience by:

Building relationships:  Maintain close contact with those around you who you trust and know that you can call upon them in times of trouble. Being able to rely on the right people, with the assurance that they’ll be there for you, can prove vital in getting you through hardship.

Taking the learning out of crises:  When things go wrong, take the positive learning that comes out of the situation and do not to fall into ‘victim’ mode. It may not always be recognisable immediately, however pinpointing what you can to make you grow and develop as opposed to wallowing and remaining stuck in the same place, will make you stronger, wiser, and tougher.

Accepting that change is part of living:  Nothing stands still – that’s life. This is why running or resisting change is not an option. At some point in your lives, you will have to face it. Acknowledging it and accepting it is the first step.

Focusing on your goals: Never lose sight of where you want to be, both now and in the future. Other things or people may take priority now and again but remember what you want and remember why you want it.

Taking action:  Being able to take control of a situation, however insignificant, is important. Many people become stressed by their apparent inability to deal with a given situation because they feel unable to cope.

Keeping things in perspective:  Don’t let one bad situation affect your overall view of life. It is normal to feel disappointed, but you should not be defeated. Life has plenty to offer, good and bad, so keep this in the back of your mind whilst you ride out the bad.

Practising mindfulness: This mind-body approach will help you to change the way that you think and feel about stressful experiences. Much of our stress is caused by worrying about the future or over-analysing the past. Mindfulness teaches us to be present, meaning you have nothing to think about besides that very moment.

Looking after yourself:  Eat and sleep well.  Exercise regularly and take time out for those things that you really enjoy.  Mix with positive people who will make you feel good about yourself. Neglecting self-care will only make you feel even worse so do yourself a favour and make good choices where you can.

Being resilient doesn’t mean that you cannot express your feelings. Being resilient means that you know you have the capacity to bounce-back!

Written by Carole Spiers

Carole is Chair of the International Stress Management AssociationUK and founder of International Stress Awareness Week – 4-8th November 2019. ISMA’s annual stress conference takes place on Friday 8th November in central London and the theme this year is RESILIENCE: the power to succeed. All details can be found on their website: