5 Steps for Defining a More Resilient Life and Reducing Stress

Blades of grass growing out of cracks in a sidewalk - reducing stress and building resilience - Healing Arts Institute
Written by David Davenport – Contributing Author Healing Arts Institute

In an earlier blog, we talked about how stress can have a very real and negative impact on your physical health. One way to reduce long-term stress is to build your inner resilience – learning how to restructure your way of thinking to allow yourself to handle stress healthily. 

Remember that stress isn’t always a bad thing…

The goal is to reduce destructive stress (distress) while welcoming activities that help motivate and drive you (eustress). We want to use the good stress in our lives to remain motivated and to bounce back after experiencing a temporary setback – and that is a skill that ANYONE can learn with time and practice.

We have put together a few suggestions that can help you to see stress-related events in a new light so that you can begin to define a more resilient life. 

Building resilience is mostly about being honest with who you are and what you want out of your life.

1. Determine what your TRUE values are

This is probably the most important and most difficult step. Determine what truly matters to you in your life. For example, if you value personal freedom or time with your family, are you working a job that takes away 70 hours of your life per week? If so, why? What beliefs are you adhering to that are keeping you on a path that is making you unhappy? Be truthful with yourself about what is important to you in your life. Define what those things are and begin removing things from your life that go against those values.

2. Take small steps towards realizing your defined values

Reimagining the way you live is not easy and can be a source of distress in itself. Take baby steps towards your goal of living a more honest life that is in line with your values. That may mean taking a new job, starting your own business, or going back to school.

Sometimes it is helpful to talk to someone you trust to help you make these decisions.

Whatever you decide, take it slowly one small step at a time – give yourself some well-deserved credit for each step that gets you closer to your goal.

3. Embrace failure, don’t stress over it

What you try new things, you will likely come across challenges that you did not expect. Be kind to yourself if you do not succeed the first time… or the second… or the tenth time. Use each lesson as an opportunity to learn and try something new. Experiment and see what works, be brave, and do not allow fear to intimidate you into not doing anything at all. 

4. Be flexible

Reaching your goals will NEVER be defined by a linear path of success. It can be messy, and sometimes life-changing opportunities will be right in front of you if you allow yourself to be open to new possibilities.

Learn to be open to possibilities that you may not have planned for. Keep an open mind while traveling your new path.

Just make sure that any new opportunities are in line with your values, otherwise do not pursue them. No matter how enticing those opportunities may seem in the short term, it will not be worth pursuing them if they go against your core values.

5. Surround yourself with inspiring people

Find people who share your values and use them as a sounding board and support group when you are feeling doubtful or afraid about the direction you are headed. You will see that many people have accomplished exactly what you are trying to do, and they will help guide you towards success.

These people can be friends, mentors, coaches, or family members.

If you are looking for guidance and life coaching, Healing Arts Institute has many friendly and highly trained members of our staff who can assist you in your life’s journey.

Building resilience is mostly about being honest with who you are and what you want out of your life.

It is about defining your journey and learning who you are and what makes you feel fulfilled. It is not about what your parents, friends, or society tells you who you should be.


Citations:

Psychology Today. “6 Ways to Discover and Choose Your Core Values.” Psychology Today, 4 Nov. 2018, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/201811/6-ways-discover-and-choose-your-core-values.

Rohn, Jim. “Rohn: How to Bounce Back From Failure.” SUCCESS, 18 Sept. 2019, www.success.com/rohn-how-to-bounce-back-from-failure.

SIVASUBRAMANIAN. “Eustress Vs Distress-A Review.” International Journalof Research in Humanities & Soc. Sciences, vol. 4, no. 5, 2016, pp. 12–15. raijmr.com, www.raijmr.com/ijrhs/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/IJRHS_2016_vol04_issue_05_04.pdf.

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