Building Resilience

Building Resilience

Building Resilience


When people talk about coping with stress or difficult situations they often say you need to become more resilient. Building resilience is a really good way to help you feel happier no matter what is happening in your life.

Resilience means having the ability to recover from difficult situations. People who are more resilient tend to be happier and healthier. Some people are naturally resilient. But there are ways of building your resilience if you find it difficult to deal with stress or negative things that happen. Often this will be linked to improving your self confidence and self esteem.

If you are a resilient person you will find positives in even the most negative situations. You will be able to bounce back from bad things that happen to you and you will be stronger because of it. There are several ways you can build your resilience.

Look after yourself: Looking after your physical health is important to help you stay emotionally healthy too. Playing your favourite sport, eating healthily and having good sleep patterns can all help. Spending time outdoors has also been shown to help people develop a positive mindset.

Find the positives: Resilient people can see positives in even negative situations. Even if you can’t see anything good in what’s happened, you will still have things to be thankful for. Writing down what you’re grateful for each day can help you focus on the good rather than the bad. It could include things like spending time with your best friend or having a home where you feel safe.

Spend time with friends: Talking to your friends can help you put things in perspective. Having fun and laughing with them is also a good way to boost your mood. Laughing can relieve tension and help you see things from another perspective.

Take breaks: This can be a break from something that’s making you feel stressed, like studying. Going for a short walk or meeting up with a friend are a good way to change your scenery. They can help you think about something else for a little while.  

Be kind to yourself: Don’t blame yourself when things don’t go to plan. You should also forgive yourself if you do make a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. Putting yourself under pressure will only make you feel worse. It can also knock your self esteem and self confidence if you blame yourself when you don’t achieve certain things.

Improving your self confidence and self esteem can help you develop resilience. It will also make you happier.

How will I know if I have low self esteem?

There are a number of signs you might have low self esteem. You could: Dislike yourself Feel like nobody likes you Blame yourself for things that aren’t your fault Feel like you’re not good enough Feel like you don’t deserve to be happy Feel like you can’t do anything right.

Sometimes you can have low self esteem because of other things that are happening in your life. It could be because you are being bullied or abused. Or it might be because you are finding your school work hard. Many people experience low self esteem during their lives. There are things you can do to make yourself feel happier. 

How can I improve my self esteem?

Self esteem is how you value yourself as a person. If you have low self esteem you need to find positive things about yourself and focus on those.

Start by thinking of one thing you like about yourself. It can help to write this down. Keep adding to this list of positive things about yourself. When you start thinking negative thoughts about yourself you can look at the list and focus on the things you like about yourself again.

Being kind can also help. When you do something nice for someone else it can make you feel good about yourself too. The person you are helping will value and appreciate you. Seeing that someone else values you can make you value yourself.

Challenge how you think about yourself. When you start criticising yourself in your head stop and take a moment to think: Would I ever say this to someone else? If the answer is no then you probably shouldn’t say it to yourself either.

How can I improve my self confidence?

You can try to act as if you already are confident. This might mean walking with your head held high or it could mean that you start a conversation with someone you don’t know very well. It is hard to step out of your comfort zone. But the more you do it the more confident you will feel.

Trying something new can also be good for your confidence. This could be a small thing like buying something different for lunch. Or it could be a bigger thing like joining a new after-school club.

You can also set goals for yourself. Write these down and make a note everytime you achieve one. Seeing that you’re making progress can help build your confidence.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even if the new thing you try doesn’t work out be proud that you tried. If you are having negative thoughts about your abilities take a moment to write down three things you’ve already achieved. Remember that it will take time to boost your self confidence.

Learning to be more assertive can also help you improve your self esteem and self confidence.

Why will being assertive help?

Being assertive will help improve your self confidence and self esteem. It will help you stand up for yourself and mean people respect you. It’s not about being rude or pushy. When you are assertive it means you can explain how you are feeling or what you want in a way that others can understand.

Being able to explain your feelings can give you confidence. It can allow you to take part in discussions and activities you might otherwise avoid. If your confidence and self esteem are low because you are being bullied it can also help you stand up to the people who are treating you badly.

How can I become more assertive?

To be assertive you need to have confidence in what you’re saying. If you need to be assertive about a particular issue take some time to write down what you would like to say. Thinking about it first can help you get your thoughts straight. Practising what you want to say can also help.

Change your body language to feel more confident. Stand up straight and don’t fidget. You should also look people in the eye when you’re talking to them.

Learning to say no is also important. If you don’t want to do something you should always feel like you can say no. This can be hard with your friends or in a big group. But a good friend should always respect your decision.

What is mindfulness and how can it help?

Mindfulness is a way of paying more attention to the present moment. It can help you become more aware of your feelings and the things happening around you. Mindfulness can also teach you how to react differently to things.

Taking the time to stop and notice the little things in your life can help you feel happier. You can start to feel more grateful for all the good things you have. This positive attitude can help build your self esteem and give you more confidence.

Mindfulness doesn’t have to take a lot of time. The key is practising it regularly. Choose a time each day when you will be more aware of everything happening around you. It could be on your walk to or from school. Or it might be for five minutes on your lunch break. Just stop and observe everything around you. The things you can see, hear and smell. Try to let your thoughts come and go. This can be very calming and can help you if you are feeling stressed.

Did you know?

-ChildLine ran 35,244 counselling sessions for low self esteem in 2014/15

-Girls are more likely to be affected by low self esteem than boys

-Many children and teens negatively compare themselves to others on social media


Help & Support

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