Have you ever had one of those days? You know the kind. The alarm doesn’t go off. The kids are late. You’re out of bread for lunches. And that is just the first hour of the day. How do you bounce back from a crazy morning?
And then there are those times that are more serious than a bad morning. A child is sick. Another child is experiencing a crisis with school or friends. Finances are tight. And you and your spouse had an argument about parenting, finances, or whose turn it is to cook dinner. Even during the hard times, we can learn how to develop resiliency and find joy.
BJ and I have purposefully set out to learn about resiliency. How do you get up when you get knocked down by life?
How to Develop Resiliency
Gratitude is an amazing quick fix. Start by listing the things you are grateful for. Make it a game with the kids. Be specific. Be funny. Think of strange things to be grateful for: sneeze guards at the all you can eat buffet. Or aglets on shoelaces.
Music is also a quick fix. Hold a dance party in the kitchen. Or play a silly song on the piano. Or try this game a friend made up with her kids. The “it” person puts on headphones and turns on their favorite song. They dance and sing out loud while the rest of the family guesses the song and laughs at the antics of the “it” person. They had some pretty good times playing iPod karaoke.
Mantras are a great technique when you can’t escape the situation and need some quick help. When my house is crazy (often) and things are out of control (all the time) I repeat to myself: “I am the eye of the storm. Chaos swirls around me, but I am calm.” It is a reminder that I want to influence my surroundings and not be acted upon by my environment.
We can also train our brains to look for good instead of the negative. Lia and I practice looking for the good every morning. When we do this, we are training our brains to look for evidence that we are happy. And we find it because we are looking for it. See the link above for more on how we do that.
Sometimes simply by changing the way we stand, we can influence our mood. If I stand up straight, spread my arms, and take up space, my mood and energy level increase. In her 2012 TED talk, Amy Cuddy talks about the science behind body language and how different stances influence mood.
I Have Not Failed, as Long as I Try Again
Thomas Edison was known for his positive outlook. We’ve all heard the quote about inventing the light bulb:
I have not failed. I’ve just found 1,000 ways that won’t work.
We are going to fail at something every day. We are going to get battered and beaten up by difficult life circumstances. But that doesn’t mean we have to be sad and angry about our situation. We can choose to be happy, even in the most difficult of times when we practice resiliency techniques.
As we learn how to develop resiliency, we can find joy even in tough times. What practices do you use in order to stay resilient?
Linking up with Char at Trekking Through.