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There are times when stress completely takes over.
And it’s usually when you’ve reached your maximum capacity that things go south fast.
You can’t control your temper, you’re short with your loved ones, and you’d do anything to get away from what you’re feeling right now.
Stress sucks. Our lives are crazy hectic at times and it’s no wonder we don’t flip out on people more often.
With how much we’re expected to handle without complaining, outbursts are bound to happen.
But, there are ways to handle tough times in your life without going over the edge.
No matter how bad it is, you can stay calm and remind yourself this will pass.
I’m not saying it’s easy—I don’t always deal properly with stress. But, as I’ve reached my breaking point more often, I’ve learned that blowing up on my boyfriend and crying on the floor isn’t the best answer.
Neither is emotional eating, or sulking your sorrows in alcohol.
Our fight or flight reaction kicks in when we’re stressed, so we get one of two urges.
Fight it out with anyone in sight or run away from our problems with some ice cream in tow.
And neither one of those is the right answer.
These don’t solve anything, they are just quick fixes to cover up a bigger problem.
What you can start to do instead is work on being more resilient in the face of trouble.
There won’t be a time in your life when bad things and problems stop happening. The quicker you can accept that, the faster you’ll move on and develop resilience.
What is Resilience?
In the simplest term, resilience is your ability to bounce back from anything that gets thrown your way.
I’m going to use a rubber band metaphor here. Think of pulling a rubber band as far as it can go, really stretching its limits.
Then think about letting go of the rubber band–what happens to it? It snaps right back to its original form.
I know that rubber bands lose their elasticity after a while, so it’s not the best metaphor, but resilience is basically a rubber band that never loses its elasticity.
Some people have a lot of resilience. They get knocked down, but they continue to get up and push through.
How to Build Resilience During Stressful Times
Think of Your Stressful Situation as a Learning Experience
So often we fall into the trap of playing the victim.
When stress piles on, it’s hard not to think the world is out to get you.
It’s destructive thinking to believe you deserve to have bad things happen to you.
And it’s incredibly difficult to be stronger during tough times if you just cave and let it control your life.
Think about any stressful situation as a growing period. You could even call it growing pains.
You might feel vulnerable, hurt, or scared and these feelings are raw.
Nothing feels good about these moments, but they are going to pass.
Resilient people believe this, and they take it as a learning experience.
They ask questions like:
- How can I know better for next time?
- What do I know now that I didn’t know before this problem?
- What is the best solution to push through right now, so I can go back to feeling normal?
When you start to believe what you’re going through is just a growing phase, you’ll feel more confident you can push through it.
Every time a tough situation comes up and you believe that, you build up resilience.
Until one day, it’s not even a question if you’ll make it through or not.
Use your Low Moments to Push You Forward
Everyone has setbacks.
Trying to be a more positive and resilient person will have its own setbacks.
Life is a one step forward two steps back kind of thing.
You might try really hard to focus on being resilient and not let things get to you.
But, you’re human.
What helps is using those low moments, where you’ve fallen down and don’t see any hope, to push yourself out of it.
Think of what can change, and what problems can be solved.
Take it one step at a time and lay it all out.
When you get knocked down and decide to try again, you build resilience.
If you choose to stay down, it’ll be way too easy to stay there a fall prey to feeling like a victim.
Practice Being Grateful for What You Have
Think about it– what makes you happy? Is it your dog? Your boyfriend?
Is it when you get to come home from a long day, make a yummy dinner and binge on Netflix?
These things are easy to take for granted.
But these are the things that get you through the tough times.
Sometimes it’s hard to be grateful for things that are constantly there.
We just assume they’ll always be there.
Thinking of things that bring you happiness make it really easy to be grateful for them.
Resilient people know what they have, and they protect it and appreciate it every day.
Start with the small things, like your car or your bedroom or your pillow.
Practice being grateful for the things that bring you out of a rut and give you happiness.
Thinking about those things during the tough moments will give you a new appreciation for what you do have.
Bad things happen, but they are only temporary.
Take Care of Yourself
Do you find that exercising or eating healthy goes out the window when you’re stressed out of your mind?
That’s because we are looking for comfort in any way we can find it.
Things feel out of control, and it’s so easy to resort to unhealthy ways of coping.
But, drinking wine every time you come across an issue just makes you rely on it to fix your problems, or make them disappear for a night.
You’re not actually listening to what you need, which is a shoulder to cry on or driving around listening to your favorite music.
Start putting yourself first, learn how to listen to what you need, and put in the effort to do those things.
Once you learn how to take care of yourself during tough moments in a healthy way, you’ll be well equipped to deal with any level of stress.
Focus on Improving Your Confidence
A lot of the times we lose sight of what we are capable of when we’re stressed.
This can diminish our confidence and leave us wondering what the heck we’re doing.
Without confidence, it’s incredibly easy to want to give up. And that mental strength is exactly what you need to have in the face of difficult moment.
Confidence is one of the key ingredients to building resilience. Once you have it, you won’t struggle with feeling overwhelmed anymore.
You’ll believe you can make it through, and you’ll think logically about the situation.
Confidence also prevents your life from getting too stressful in the first place, because you’ll know how to set healthy boundaries.
Work on Building Strong Relationships
Sometimes you can’t do everything alone.
Having the right people on your side can make a huge difference.
During the moments where you feel like giving up, talking to a close friend might be just the thing you need to keep pushing forward.
When you’re stressed and overwhelmed, keeping up with relationships is difficult.
You’re so preoccupied with everyone going on that staying in touch with someone is tough.
This backfires during those moments when you’re in complete distress and really need someone.
Building resilience requires taking time, even during hectic times, to call up a friend say, hey can we talk for a few minutes?
Talking it out is one of the best ways to manage everything going on.
You’ll get a new perspective and learn the things you’re freaking out about aren’t that big of a deal, in the grand scheme of things.
Just remember that during stressful times in your life, things aren’t going to be perfect.
You’ll have moments of not knowing what you’re doing, but go easy on yourself.
If you beat yourself up over trying to handle a situation better than you did, you’ll only add onto the stress.
Resilience is all about accepting what happens in your life and solving problems one step at a time.
It requires patience and practice, over and over again. You will become mentally stronger and you’ll go from thinking “I can’t” to “I can”.
The more obstacles you overcome in your life and come out on the other side, the stronger your resilience will become.
If you’re looking for more help with building a stronger mindset, becoming more resilient, and creating your dream life, make sure to check out Natalie Bacon’s Design Your Dream Life Academy.
Design Your Dream Life Academy talks all about:
- Emotions and feelings
- Overwhelm, burnout, and busyness
- Time management
- Goal setting
- Bonus lessons on skills to get good at.
The course is packed full of information that begins with changing your mindset to push through obstacles and ends with giving you important life skills that everyone needs to know.
You can check out the course by clicking here!
If you enjoyed this article or have any questions, leave a comment below!
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