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Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from setbacks, an individual's tendency to cope with stress and adversity. Here are ways we can each strengthen our ability to cope with setbacks.

  1. Make connections. Good relationships with close family members, friends, or others are important. Accepting help and support from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens resilience.
  2. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. You can't change the fact that highly stressful events happen, but you can change how you interpret and respond to these events. Try looking beyond the present to how future circumstances may be a little better.
  3. Accept that change is a part of living. Certain goals may no longer be attainable as a result of adverse situations. Accepting circumstances that can‘t be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter.
  4. Move toward your goals. Develop some realistic goals. Regularly do something—even if it seems like a small accomplishment—that enables you to move toward your goals.
  5. Take decisive actions. Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive actions, rather than detaching completely from problems.
  6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery. People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of their struggle with loss.
  7. Nurture a positive view of yourself. Developing confidence helps to build resilience.
  8. Keep things in perspective. Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Maintain a hopeful outlook. An optimistic outlook enables you to expect that good things will happen in your life. Try visualizing what you want rather than worrying about what you fear.
  9. Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly. Taking care of yourself helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with situations that require resilience.
  10. Additional ways of strengthening resilience may be helpful. For example, some people write about their deepest thoughts and feelings related to trauma or other stressful events in their lives. Spiritual practices help people build connections and restore hope.

The key is to identify ways that are likely to work well for you as part of your own personal strategy for fostering resilience.

 --American Psychological Association




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