Vail Relationships column: Resilience: The art of bouncing back
Whether you have recently divorced, lost a loved one, lost your job or your self-esteem — how do you recover from loss, failure, rejection or adversity? Some people are facing a medical crisis, others have lost a dream and still others have lost their house or their savings. Regardless of the disappointments and misfortunes that have befallen you, how do you bounce back from setbacks, disillusionments, accidents and/or traumas?
Resilience is the art of bouncing back. Bouncing back sometimes means you have to redefine yourself, your goals for the future and your self-image. Being resilient asks of you to:
• Be courageous and face your ordeals without losing your spirit. Resist the temptation to give up, and don’t permit yourself to become embittered, jaded, angry or hopeless. Look for the silver lining in your disappointments. Sometimes, finding a silver lining keeps you from going into despair.
Create New Goals
• Create new, more realistic goals. Disengage from goals that are no longer relevant, and instead set your sights on new visions for your future that are obtainable. Rebuild your dreams instead of giving up on having dreams.
• View mistakes or setbacks as learning opportunities. Your mistakes are your teachers, plain and simple. Learn from your mistakes so you don’t wind up repeating them. And there are opportunities in adversity, loss and misfortune. Franklin Roosevelt, as an example, emerged compelling and powerful after he was diagnosed with polio.
Keep Your Eye on the prize
• Keep your eye on the big picture. Look at things in perspective and develop a sense of proportion about what’s truly important. In this regard, adversity can be a gift, keeping you focused on what you can do instead of what you can’t control.
• Take good physical care of yourself. Eat healthy, exercise, go for therapy or medical checkups, get a massage, do yoga and do other self-care activities.
• Be in charge of your anguished emotions, so you don’t alienate other people by taking out your hurt, anger or unhappiness on them.
Be Grateful for Life’s Goodness
• Stay aware of the good things in your life. Having a sense of gratitude for what you have and what’s right in your life will help you to stay hopeful and optimistic about your future.
• Be receptive to opportunities for self-betterment and self-improvement. Be open to being a better version of you.
• Every so often, do something fun.
• Permit yourself to love (or love again), and allow yourself to be loved.
Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Westminster and Boulder. His column is in its 24th year of publication and is syndicated around the world. You can reach him at 303-758-8777, or email him through his website at http://www.heartrelationships.com. The second edition of his book, “Love, Sex and Staying Warm: Creating A Vital Relationship,” recently hit the No. 1 best-seller list on Amazon.