We all go through dark episodes in our lifetime. Some are longer and more painful than others, but nearly all of of them help us grow. Although we cannot avoid hardships, it is possible to alleviate them. Here are ten ways to build resilience.
Go Out More Often. Having a good time is prescription-free and extremely beneficial. There is nothing like immersing yourself completely into a movie or any other favorite activity for several hours to ease your mind and spirit. Merely looking forward to an outing is very uplifting. Alone or with others, push yourself to go out several times a week. Also, altering your usual routine once in a while will not only break monotony but beat the blues.
Meet People. Try to be around people as much as possible. If you live alone, make extra efforts to see your children, siblings, relatives and friends on a regular basis. A few hours in their company will make you feel cared for, secure and tranquil. However, try to avoid negative people or don’t be around them too long. In addition to being very unhelpful, they will worsen your état d’âme. Going where the crowds are, such as in shopping malls is also a good idea. The important thing is not to be on your own too often.
Maintain a Positive Attitude. Accept the situation by thinking it is only temporary. Imagining there is no end to it will only make you feel more desperate and depressed. Take the situation as a challenge, convince yourself hat you are going to survive, that you have enough inner strength to go through this bleak episode. Use your past sufferings as examples. All of them ended, this one will too. Repeat an inspiring motto whenever you feel vulnerable. When Gertrude suffered depression bouts several years ago and at times felt apprehensive about living by herself, she repeated incessantly: “Everything will be all right, nothing happened before and nothing will happen now”.
Keep your Mind Busy. Although we need the support and love of others, they cannot be by our side twenty-four hours a day. Focusing on something you enjoy chases negative thoughts and passes the time. Reading, surfing on the internet, watching television, knitting, to name just a few, are great ways to occupy your mind for hours. A great baseball fan, listening to the games on the radio gave great enjoyment to Stephanie’s father when he was dying of cancer in the hospital. For several hours, especially when he had no visitors, it relaxed his mind and kept him company.
Enjoy the Present Moment. There are great moments in dreary periods. Enjoy the instants you feel happy and content. It is often during difficult times that we suddenly awaken to simple, daily wonders. Listen to the cricket chirp and the birds sing during the summer. Savor the joy and comfort of watching a good movie or television program on a cold winter evening. Keep decision-making for the following day. Thank God for the peace of mind you are enjoying. Take life one day at the time, as the alcoholics are taught to do. Life will seem less burdensome and you will learn to appreciate it more intensely.
Dream. Dreams keep us alive. At the very least, they make us feel good. Statistics prove that suicides are usually committed by people who had no dreams, who saw no opened doors in front of them. When a relationship Sonia had hoped for did not develop a few years ago, her dream of love helped her to remain out of despair. This aspiration still keeps her hopeful and serene.
Consult the Bible
There are many words of hope for the bereaved and the afflicted in the New Testament Here are a few passages. “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus”… “Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (Thessalonians 4:13-18). “…And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying or pain; the first things have passed away.” … “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” (Revelation 21:3-5).
Read Inspirational Stories
Stories of people who have surmounted obstacles are very enlightening. Not only do they give us hope and courage, but they make us realize we are not alone in our sufferings and there are worse afflictions than our own. Inspirational stories may be found, among others, in religious publications and in most women’s magazines.
Try Something New
A few years ago, prior to moving out of his duplex, Sonia’s brother asked her if she was interested in taking care of the plants he would cultivate. For some strange and still unkown reason, she accepted. She had always thought gardening was a pastime for very old people. To her complete astonishment, she loved it! At that time, she was feeling restless and agitated. Gardening kept her focused, happy and peaceful for hours. For several years she even refused to travel in order to fully enjoy the blossoming of her plants! Discovering a new passion is exciting, challenging. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It might be something you always wanted to do, but lacked the time, courage or determination to endeavor.
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