10 habits of people who stay resilient, even when life gets hard

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Ever wonder where some people get their strength?

A lot of us struggle to get through hard times and when things get tough, it takes a lot of energy and willpower just to get out of bed, let alone fight our battles.

Yet some people make it look easy.

They have the strength, determination, and resilience to carry on with a smile on their face, and the belief that they’ll make it through the challenges they face.

So what is it about them?

Turns out they’re not that different from you and me. What sets them apart are their habits, and luckily, we can always pick up new habits.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

1) They practice positive thinking

I’m not talking about thinking positive thoughts only when things get tough and wishing away all the pain and hardship.

No.

Positive thinking is a way of life.

It takes time and practice until it becomes second nature to you.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Start by being mindful of negative thoughts. When they occur, consciously replace them with positive ones.
  • Surround yourself with positive and uplifting influences such as loving and supportive relationships, inspiring books or movies, or hobbies and activities that bring you joy.
  • Remember to stop to smell the roses. Appreciate the little things in life that you’d usually take for granted. That’s what life is really all about, the little things, the little moments, the roses…
  • Instead of being too ambitious, try to set realistic goals. Remember to celebrate small achievements, which will give you a sense of accomplishment and make you feel good.
  • Don’t be scared to fail. Instead, try to look at failure as a chance to learn something new and to grow as an individual.
  • Try out different visualization techniques to help redirect your negative thoughts toward positive ones.
  • And remember, be kind to yourself and have patience.

2) They embrace challenges

The truth is that if you’re someone who tends to give up as soon as things become difficult, you’ll never learn to be resilient.

I’m talking about relationships, work-related situations, and even training for a marathon – you can’t keep chickening out.

Look at resilient people – they stay put and embrace the challenge in front of them.

It’s not always easy, I know, but there’s a lot to be learned by being determined and putting in the work.

You know what they say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”? Well, that’s exactly the kind of attitude you need if you want to stay resilient when life gets tough. 

3) They practice mindfulness meditation

What does mindfulness meditation have to do with resilience?

Quite a bit actually!

It plays a key role in building resilience by anchoring you in the present moment and helping you remain calm and centered as you navigate various challenges. 

Sounds pretty good, right?

You see, through mindfulness practices, resilient people have learned to observe their thoughts and emotions without judgment. This can be crucial when it comes to responding to stressful situations.

Regular practice strengthens their capacity to bounce back from setbacks because mindfulness meditation promotes greater self-awareness and improved focus, and it helps deal with life’s challenges.

So if you want to develop resilience and improve your overall well-being, I strongly recommend taking up mindfulness and meditation.

4) They surround themselves with positive people

Whoever came up with the saying, “You’re only as good as the company you keep” was onto something.

Let me explain what I mean…

The people we surround ourselves with have a great influence on how we act and how we feel – whether we are aware of the fact or not.

Resilient people have a strong support network of friends, family, and community who provide emotional support, encouragement, and assistance during tough times.

My advice is to cut ties with all those negative people who drain you of your energy (energy vampires as I like to call them).

Instead, spend time with people who make you smile, give you hope, and are there for you when you need them.

5) They have healthy coping mechanisms

There are many different coping mechanisms out there, but not all of them are healthy.

When facing a crisis of any kind, some people turn to drinking and drugs, others to comfort food.

But guess what?

Although these coping mechanisms feel good and may help them forget about their troubles for a moment, in the long run, they do more harm than good.

So what are some alternatives?

  • Acknowledging the situation you find yourself in. Yes, it may be difficult and painful, and you may not want to think about it but it’s the only way to build resilience and move on.
  • Do you have a problem? Then look for a solution. You can’t run away from your problems and the sooner you deal with them, the better off you’ll be.
  • Can’t find a solution? Talk to someone about your problem. Remember how I said you need to surround yourself with positive people and influences? They’ll help you think of something.
  • Spend some time in nature. When I’m dealing with something heavy and my mind starts racing, I like to go for a nice long hike in the mountains or find a river or a stream where I can take a moment to just be…
  • Mediation – I mentioned how useful mindfulness and meditation are when it comes to building resilience, but the truth is they’re good for pretty much any aspect of your life and make for a very healthy coping mechanism.

6) They prioritize self-care

Yes, yes… it’s a rat race, time is money, and it’s a dog-eat-dog world…

But do you know what?

People who don’t prioritize self-care, who just keep taking on more and more tasks, who keep saying “yes” to every request, and who are there to take care of everyone but themselves, eventually snap. They burn out.

That kind of tempo is simply not sustainable.

That’s something many resilient people have had to learn the hard way.

Now they know that if they want to stay strong and be able to face adversity, they need to take care of both their mental and physical health.

That means:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating healthoéy and drinking plenty of water
  • Exercising
  • Going for regular medical check-ups
  • Making time for friends and family
  • Taking part in pleasurable activities
  • Talking to a therapist
  • Practicing meditation and yoga
  • Spending time in nature
  • Getting a pet

7) They practice gratitude

Resilient people are very realistic and down to earth.

They know that life is made up of billions of little moments. They know not to take anything or anyone for granted because when they look at the big picture, they’re luckier than most.

Trust me, practicing gratitude will help you in moments when life gets hard.

You see, it will teach you to shift your focus from what’s wrong to what’s right. From what’s not going your way to what is. From what you don’t have to what you do have.

Give it a try and you’ll see.

It’s pretty easy, when you go to bed each night all you have to do is make a mental list of all the things in your life you are grateful for – no matter how big or small.

There’s no wrong answer, you can be grateful for the tasty tortillas you had for dinner, for your family, for your cat, for being able to vote…

8) They keep a journal

Yes, I mean a diary.

I know that the concept of keeping a journal may seem strange to many of you, but it’s actually a very therapeutic habit.

I know quite a few resilient people who swear by it. They’ve told me that writing down their experiences, thoughts, and feelings has been a lifesaver.

Why not try it before you knock it?

Look at it as an outlet for self-expression and a way to process difficult emotions (all that anger, sadness, embarrassment, confusion, and resentment that you’ve been storing inside you…).

9) They’re not afraid to ask for help

Here’s the thing: resilience doesn’t mean having to do everything yourself and asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak!

It’s actually what resilient people do – they have the strength and the self-awareness to recognize when they’re unable to do something themselves.

But that’s not all, they have no trouble asking for help, whether it be from a friend, a family member, or a therapist because they know that seeking assistance is actually a sign of strength and it’s what will enable them to navigate life’s challenges. 

10) They have a sense of humor

Last, but not least, I have to mention just how big a role having a sense of humor plays when it comes to resilience.

  • It helps people shift their perspective by allowing them to see the lighter side of life, even in a serious situation.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins which are the body’s natural feel-good hormones. It can help alleviate stress and improve mood, as well as hel build a more resilient mindset.
  • When times are really tough, humor acts as a coping mechanism, providing a well-needed mental break.
  • Finally, a sense of humor (even in the face of adversity) encourages a positive outlook on life and resilient people generally try to look at the silver lining.

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Jelena Dincic

Jelena has a background in photography and film-making and has spent the last few years as a content editor and copywriter. Jelena is a citizen of the world who is passionate about travel and learning about new cultures. She’s a foodie who loves to cook. And, as an art lover, she is always experimenting with new art mediums. When she’s not at her computer, she’s usually out and about in some forest with her dogs.

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