Tips for developing mental resilience in the face of adversity

Resilience is one of the most essential skills to develop in life. It allows us to overcome adversity and setbacks, as well as helping us to maintain balance during difficult and stressful periods. Developing resilience can help with our mental health, however, it’s not an easy skill to develop. 

Here are some things that can assist you in your goal of attaining mental resilience.  

Having a positive mindset

This is probably the most important factor when it comes to developing resilience. In life, challenges and adversity will come, and in times of difficulty, it can be hard to stay positive. However, what is crucial is that you try and develop a more positive mindset, though that’s easier said than done. 

A positive mindset can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel even in the most difficult of times. This increases motivation when it comes to dealing with difficult situations, therefore improving your resilience in the face of adversity. 

Reflecting and keeping things in perspective

Resilience can be defined as the ability to adapt and deal with difficult situations. To be able to do this best, it is crucial to put difficult situations into perspective. A lot of problems we face in the present can be tricky to deal with, but the chances are that not all of them will ruin our lives forever. 

Even when facing very challenging events, it can be helpful to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and try and keep a long-term perspective. It is very easy to blow a bad event out of proportion, but this can make it harder to recover from it. To enable us to keep things in perspective, it is helpful to take the time to really reflect on things that are happening, as this can help with finding ways to adapt and deal with current challenges.

Set aside time where you don’t think about the problem

Setting aside time where you don’t think about the problem can be done by doing something else such as going for a run or cooking a delicious meal, or it can be done by just telling yourself that you will not think about your problems in certain times of the day, such as just before you go to sleep. 

A huge barrier in the way of developing resilience involves easily letting problems consume your mind all of the time. This can lead to mental burnout, which can be avoided by setting aside time on a regular basis to not think about the problem. I was finding juggling committee life, social life, academics and job applications extremely difficult in the first term of university, but one thing I always enjoyed doing was going on walks around campus, as this allowed me to divert my mind away from the challenges I was facing.

Accepting the fact that you are currently facing challenges

This is a big one which is often not talked about. Recall that resilience can be defined as the ability to adapt and deal with problems and difficult situations. The first step in being able to deal with problems is accepting that the problem exists in the first place. 

In some cases, it is very hard to accept certain challenges and problems that you are facing, and denial can be seen as a coping mechanism that gives you time to adjust to hard situations. However, staying in denial can interfere with your ability to tackle these challenges. Even though it is definitely much easier said than done, accepting the challenges you are facing is vital, as then you can take time to put it in perspective and actively find ways to overcome the challenge, allowing you to stay resilient and motivated. 

I hope this has given a good insight into the ways in which I developed my resilience skills. It is not a skill that can be developed overnight, and it is something you develop over time, although it is such an important skill to have. 

This article was originally written for Warwick Boar

37 thoughts on “Tips for developing mental resilience in the face of adversity

  1. I agree with what you have written. Resilience is an important life skill. It helps us to keep pushing forward even during the toughest of times. Resilience, either mental or physical, must be taught to the younger generation so that they grow up as better adults.

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  2. These are some really helpful tips! I always try to look on the positive side of life as it can be all too easy to get bogged down in the negative side of things.

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  3. Resilience takes time to build but is a vital life skill to learn. I am quite resilient by nature but things to get me down sometimes

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  4. We’re trying to develop a more positive mindset, but it’s hard. Life lessons give you that chance to hone your resilience but it can take years to build and lots of different situations to make us mentally tough x

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  5. Great article, as ive got older ive tried to look at things far more positive, for my own well being and of those around me, if I’m happy i can make others happy, that’s what I’ve tried to work on, i don’t like being around negative people as it can very stressful and demoralising.

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  7. I absolutely agree that having resilience is some thing many that helps you to face life challenges but not all people have the same levels. A positive outlook and practicing CBT really helps too.

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  8. I just discovered your blog through a guest post on Pooja’s blog. In short, though, I agree with all of this, and particularly the importance of accepting any challenges you may be facing. Being in denial about those challenges, in my own life, have done more harm than good, and good came when I accepted the fact that I had challenges.

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