4 Ways To Strengthen A Resilient Mindset Amidst Adversity

Ways To Strengthen A Resilient Mindset Amidst Adversity

How to navigate the challenges of your life? If I had to sum up in one sentence what I have learned from sitting with so many patients in my office over the course of 25 years, it would be this: More than anything, the human spirit is remarkably resilient. Pandemic year has only reinforced that realization for me.

Resilience is “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress.” What research has shown us about resilience is that it isn’t an extraordinary quality but one that is accessible to all of us,* and in fact it can be learned and strengthened.

One of the things that we know about facing stress is that the mindset we adopt and our reflection on what we can learn from a difficult situation can help us cope more effectively. In fact, even in the face of significant trauma, research shows that many people experience something referred to as post-traumatic growth*—positive growth that involves new ways that they view themselves, their lives, and the relationships around them.


This has been a year of extraordinary challenge, stress, adversity, and for many, even trauma—from losing loved ones, to separation and not being able to see those we love, to loss of our “normal” life as we knew it, to loss of jobs and financial hardships that so many have endured. We have had to adjust—have been thrown into coping with circumstances that would have, prior to this, seemed unfathomable.

While there is hope on the horizon with vaccines starting to be administered, I realize some of the most challenging months still lie ahead.

Here are 4 things to reflect on that might help you strengthen a resilient mindset in the midst of challenges

1. Focus on what you can nurture, not what you “need” to change.

While the new year is typically a time for resolutions, goal-setting, and considering changes we want to make, this year feels markedly different to me. Many people are exhausted, overwhelmed, and anxious with the ongoing uncertainty of things, and the idea of focusing on change feels for many like one more thing that there isn’t energy for. Instead, a more helpful approach at this time might be to focus on what you want to nurture, that is already here. How might you nurture yourself, connections with those you care about, and/or engagement in meaningful activities?

if you want to change, then change .

Questions to Consider:

What is it that you are already doing to take care of yourself? Make a point to take notice—do you feel best on days when you go to sleep earlier, go for a walk, call a friend, etc.? How might you invite more of that into your life?

What helps bring you into connection with others that feels most nourishing for you (e.g., Zoom calls, phone calls, outdoor walks, online groups), and how might you make a point to check in with yourself on a regular basis to make sure you are getting enough of this?

What activities do you already engage in that give you a sense of meaning, and how might you continue bringing this into your life? (For example, my friend, who gets great pleasure from gardening, is looking into indoor gardening during these long, winter months in New England.)

Also, read 15 Traits of A Mentally Strong Woman

2. Increased clarity of values.

I have heard from many people that this pandemic has been an opportunity to consider, re-evaluate, and clarify values and what is most important to them. For some people, having to be at home for extended periods of time has been a chance to reflect on ways they might want to slow down more (commute less, run around less frenetically), or spend more family time together (such as making it a point to eat together more often), even after the pandemic.

One of the things I have found so comforting during these difficult months has been spending more time in nature—realizing how deeply restorative it is for me.

Questions to consider:

How has this pandemic helped you to recognize some of the things that are most important to you and some of the things that maybe you thought were important but that you can live without?

What is one thing that you may not want to change—even after this pandemic is over? (For me, having a weekly extended family Zoom call has helped me appreciate connecting to the family I don’t always see and is something I definitely want to continue going forward, pandemic or not.)

3. Discovering inner resources.

If anyone had ever told me on March 1, 2020, how the next 10-plus months would look, I would have surely thought to myself, “I don’t know how I would ever possibly handle that. That sounds unbearable.” But having endured this, I have learned a thing or two about what helps me cope.

I have, more than ever, put my own tools into practice that I teach others, to help me find calm when I am gripped by strong fear, and to find my way back to the present moment when my mind is running away with ruminative thoughts. In my psychology practice, my patients have discovered that they have tremendous inner strength, courage, and adaptability that they didn’t realize they had access to.

Questions to consider:

What is one thing you have done that has helped you cope through these challenges, that has supported your well-being? What is something that you learned about yourself, about your own strength or courage, that you may not have realized?

Also read How You Can Protect Your Inner Self and Emerge A Stronger Person

4. Greater compassion.

Despite everything our world has been through and the tremendous losses and adversities people have faced, the desire to help others and the outpouring of compassion has been enormous. From making signs to cheer on essential health care workers, to helping neighbors in need, to organizing support on community and global levels—for many, it has brought out the best in us. This time of challenge has activated our innate caring system, and with it—kindness, compassion, and a strong sense of common humanity (that we are all in this together).

Compassion Is Not A Relationship

Questions to consider:

In what way has your heart opened up during this past year? Touching into your own capacity for kindness, compassion, and caring, what has this, or does this current situation, inspire in you? (It could be something simple like making an extra effort to express appreciation to the grocery clerk, or taking a moment before eating to appreciate all the people who made your food on your table possible, or checking in on your neighbor who lives alone.)

My father recently came home from the hospital and the outpouring and generosity from the neighbors dropping off meals has been truly heartwarming. Sometimes one may not realize the impact that even small gestures of care can have on those on the receiving end.

Also read How To Discipline Sensitive Children? 5 Science-Backed Strategies

While there are many aspects of our life circumstances that we don’t have control over, being able to focus on choices we do have can help us cope, even with great difficulties. Fostering a resilient mindset is one way to do this. It doesn’t mean we don’t feel pain and suffering, but it does offer just a bit more ease as we navigate through our challenges.

Written by: Beth Kurland, Ph.D
Originally appeared on: Psychology Today
Republished with permission
Ways To Strengthen A Resilient Mindset Amidst Adversity pin

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Up Next

How To Use Binaural Beats To Let Go of Fear, Pain, And Overthinking

How To Use Binaural Beats? Best Binaural Beats Benefits

Ever wondered how to use binaural beats correctly? Find the best ways to heal, relieve fear, pain, and excessive thinking. Your journey begins here!

There are a stunningly vast array of benefits you can experience from listening to binaural beats – a fascinating form of soundwave therapy.

When one of America’s most famous living philosophers, Ken Wilber, was asked what the average person could do to raise their consciousness, he replied:

There’s already a technology that can be used to raise human consciousness. It’s called binaural beats.

Up Next

How To Live In The Moment And Be Happy: 15 Strategies For Embracing The Present

How To Live In The Moment And Be Happy: Strategies

Do you ever find yourself caught up in the whirlwind of life, constantly worrying about the past or stressing about the future? But what if I told you that the key to true happiness lies in embracing the present moment? Let’s find out how to live in the moment and be happy.

Today most of us struggle with stress, anxiety and depression as we struggle to face the increasing challenges of the fast-paced world. This not only robs us of our inner joy but also keeps us from being truly happy.

So let’s explore the art of living in the moment and uncover practical strategies to cultivate happiness in our everyday lives. Let us embark on this enlightening journey together and discover the true joy that comes from being fully present.

Up Next

Becoming a Social Butterfly: A 5-Step Guide to Cultivating Popularity

Social Butterfly Meaning: Step Guide to Being Popular

Have you ever wondered how your friend becomes the life of the party? Ever wanted to effortlessly make connections like them? Learning the social butterfly meaning can be your secret to forging similar connections. 

In today’s world, being a social butterfly can make a significant difference. Struggling to connect in a room full of people can negatively impact both your professional and personal life.

That’s where learning how to become a social butterfly can be your beacon of hope!  

Social Butterfly Meaning

A “social butterfly” refers to someone who effortlessly thrives in social setti

Up Next

What Is Self Reflection? 9 Helpful Tips To Understand Yourself Better

What Is Self Reflection? Helpful Tips For Self-Examination

Ever found yourself pondering over your thoughts, actions, and experiences? Have you ever taken a step back to examine your emotions, motivations, and personal growth? These moments of introspection and self-analysis are crucial for personal growth. Let’s explore what is self reflection in psychology and learn some self reflection tips.

What is Self Reflection in Psychology?

Self-reflection, in the realm of psychology, is a process of introspection where individuals examine their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with a conscious and objective perspective. 

It involves lookin

Up Next

How To Stop Feeling Disconnected From Life? 7 Healing Ways

How To Stop Feeling Disconnected From Life? Best Ways

Ever find yourself in a funk, feeling disconnected and sad? Fear not! Discover seven healing ways to shake off the blues and reconnect with yourself!

You feel disconnected right now, perhaps even a little sad or lonely – or even like no one really cares about you or sees you fully.

Accompanying feeling disconnected, you might feel lost in life, like you’re aimless, bored, unhappy, restless, and have no direction.

In essence, you feel like a tiny island drifting in the middle of a big ocean, cut off from all signs of life for miles.

How do I know this? I’ve experien

Up Next

What Is Existential Intelligence And 9 Ways To Develop It

What Is Existential Intelligence: Ways To Develop It

Have you ever pondered the deeper meaning of life? Contemplated your purpose and the existence of the universe? These existential questions lie at the core of our human experience. Let is dive in the driving force behind these question and find out what is existential intelligence?

Join us as we delve into the fascinating realm of existential intelligence, understanding the characteristics of existential intelligence and discovering activities for existential intelligence. So, let’s embark on a journey of self-discovery and unravel the mysteries of our existence!

What is Existential Intelligence?


Up Next

What Are Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms? 8 Major Examples And How To Handle Them

What Is Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms? Types And How To Deal

Navigating through life is akin to taking a trip down a winding road with unexpected twists and turns. On this path, we face moments that push us to our limits and test our inner strength. It’s during these times that we lean on various strategies to get by—our coping mechanisms, which are like the tools we use to fix things when they break down. But it’s important to recognize that not all these tools are healthy. So, what is unhealthy coping mechanisms?

Unhealthy coping mechanisms might even make things worse in the long run. They can be sneaky, sometimes making us feel better in the moment, but in reality, they prevent us from truly healing and finding peace.

This article is