Life is a journey marked by both triumphs and tribulations. However, when setbacks occur, especially during our formative years in our 20s and 30s, they can feel like insurmountable mountains to climb. From academic stumbles in university to job rejections that cut deep, the sense of failure can take a toll on mental health, potentially leading to a spiral into depression. Yet, it’s crucial to remember that failures are a part of life, and building resilience is the key to bouncing back stronger.
Resilience, the ability to maintain or regain mental wellbeing in the face of adversity, hinges on three critical traits: self-esteem, psychological flexibility, and emotional regulation. While resilience may come naturally to some, it is a skill that anyone can cultivate. Here are three strategies to help bolster your resilience.
1. Get Moving: Boosting Self-Esteem through Exercise
Surprisingly, physical exercise plays a vital role in enhancing mental resilience. Research demonstrates that both aerobic and resistance exercise can lead to improved self-esteem and a more positive body image, irrespective of your fitness level.
Moreover, outdoor activities like walking, running, or cycling have been shown to significantly elevate psychological wellbeing and self-esteem. Engaging in daily moderate or vigorous exercise has the most substantial positive impact on self-esteem. As self-esteem forms the foundation of resilience, it’s essential for managing adversity and even influencing life satisfaction.
Even if you’re not a fitness enthusiast, a brisk daily walk outdoors can work wonders for your self-esteem and, consequently, your resilience.
2. Write It Down: Journaling for Emotional Processing
Keeping a journal is a powerful tool to mitigate the impact of life’s stressors. Journaling helps individuals process challenging emotions such as disappointment, anger, sadness, and feelings of failure. It also enables a reframing of these thoughts and emotions.
For those unsure about where to begin, gratitude journaling can be a great start. This involves recording the aspects of your life that bring you joy and happiness. Research shows that expressing gratitude is linked to better mental health, increased optimism, heightened hope, and stronger relationships – all of which contribute to resilience.
Studies have indicated that the simple act of noting three things you’re grateful for every day can have a lasting positive effect on your wellbeing. Cultivating this daily habit can help you navigate difficult emotions and move forward when faced with failure.
3. Seek Support from Loved Ones
Close relationships are not only essential for overall wellbeing but also play a pivotal role in emotional regulation, another cornerstone of resilience. Sharing your emotions openly with a trusted friend or loved one provides an opportunity to heal emotional wounds resulting from disappointment, rejection, or embarrassment stemming from failure.
In addition to emotional healing, conversations with friends and family can offer practical advice and emotional support for your specific situation. The act of expressing and processing emotions has been consistently linked to better wellbeing and enhanced resilience.
There are various ways to communicate your feelings to loved ones, whether face-to-face or through written messages. The crucial aspect is to release your emotions instead of bottling them up. Engaging in a heartfelt discussion, seeking the perspective of a friend or family member, and finding meaning in your failure can significantly aid in building resilience and propelling you forward.
While failure is an inevitable part of life’s journey, developing mental resilience equips you to face it head-on. Trying even one of these techniques can have a profound impact on how you navigate the next setback. Remember, failure is not the end; it’s an opportunity for growth, and resilience is the compass that guides you through the storm towards brighter days.