Overcoming adversity: 6 traits of resilient people
- November 20, 2015
Let’s face it—you’ll probably experience adversity at some point or other in your life. And while you can often overcome challenges quickly by “turning lemons into lemonade,” as the saying goes, sometimes setbacks can seem almost insurmountable.
The people who are able to overcome adversity may make it look easy, but the fact is that for most people, learning how to move past obstacles takes skill and practice. (Lots of it.)
Here are six traits of that resilient people generally have in common. Think about practicing these so they become second nature—and so that you’re ready to draw on them the next time life throws you a curve ball.
- Resilient people know where to get support. Having someone to talk to when you’re down or frustrated can help you relieve tension—while also providing additional perspective on the issue you’re facing. Just be sure the people in your network are supportive, caring, and positive themselves.
- They can keep things in perspective. Adversity is never fun, but understanding that most adverse events are temporary can help you gain the perspective you need to decide how much of your energy you want to spend on getting frustrated.
- Resilient people think positively. Yes, it sounds trite, but studies have shown having a positive outlook—even if it means tricking yourself into feel happy by simply smiling for 20 minutes—can have a remarkable impact on your mood and your overall wellbeing. These benefits can include improved immunity, lower risk for some chronic diseases, and even a longer lifespan.
- They practice healthy habits.When a setback occurs, negative thoughts can be a natural reaction. You’ll find it easier to keep them at bay if you care for your physical being as well—which means following a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep and making sure to exercise each day. Even a walk during lunch can help decrease stress and improve your mental outlook and physical health.
- Resilient people look outside themselves. Finding moments to reach out to others can have amazing self-healing benefits. Simply being friendly to strangers, for example, can help elevate your own mood. If you’re looking to go deeper, consider getting involved in charitable causes—you’ll do some good, and get perspective on your own troubles.
- They write things down. Writing is a form of self-care that helps by letting you express yourself (including all your negative feelings) so you can “unclutter” your thoughts. Uncluttering will, in turn, help you get clarity on the steps you need to take to get past what’s challenging you. Better yet, writing is a form of unburdening that lets you