Do you feel resilient? We all have moments of self-doubt, fear, anxiety and stress. Are you able to ride these moments smoothly without feeling ruffled? Resilience empowers us to handle ups and downs with a sense of constancy and ease. Motivational speaker, life coach, entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author, Gabby Bernstein, recently shared her own experiences on the topic of resilience with the team at Women Together.
I’ve been thinking a lot about resilience lately, and strengthening my own resilience. So in this post I want to share my personal practices with you. I’m outlining 6 spiritual and practical tips for how to be more resilient.
What is resilience?
Resilience is our ability to recover from difficult situations and adapt to change. We often talk about “bouncing back”—that is resilience.
When you think of how to be more resilient, picture a reed: It’s strong, but it’s also flexible. It doesn’t resist the wind and the wind doesn’t break it. The reed moves with the wind.
I’ve been building my resilience
I was recently presented with my own spiritual assignment on resilience. Early this month I finally became willing to accept that I have been suffering with postpartum anxiety, insomnia and panic attacks.
Because of this, I want to focus on how to be more resilient and the tools I’ve been using to strengthen my own resilience.
These spiritual and practical tools will help you to strengthen your resilience so that you can show up for your life with grace and faith no matter what.
I’m turning to these tools every single day, and they’re helping me stay strong and nurture myself during this challenging time.
6 tools for resilience
1. Rely on a higher power
When you don’t know how you’re going to get through something, the answer is to give it over to a higher power of your own understanding.
Turning it over takes the burden off you to figure it all out. Healing requires our willingness to heal. When we’re willing to surrender, an invisible strength takes over and we are guided. We open up to inspired solutions and support.
You can say this prayer as often as you want in order to surrender, welcome guidance and build resilience.
Prayer for Resilience
Thank you, inner guide, for revealing to me what I still need to heal.
I accept this as a spiritual assignment for great growth.
I am committed to my healing path, and my highest priority is to align with love.
I take this one day at a time and I know I’m getting better every day.
I choose to keep this in the day.
I do not regret my past and I am not afraid of the future.
I trust that the present moment offers me resilience now.
Pay attention to the guidance you receive.
Once you’ve surrendered it, pay attention to the ways that God shows up for you. I know I say this a lot, but it bears repeating because we can forget to pay attention.
Spiritual guidance can show up in any number of ways…
- You may feel an inner knowing or hear an intuitive voice.
- An idea may come through while meditating, or seemingly out of the blue.
- You might experience synchronicity, such as unexpectedly hearing a song that is meaningful to you or reading a passage in a book that seems to speak directly to you.
- You may even see sparks of light or feel a rush of love.
I encourage you to write down all the instances of guidance you receive. Use the Notes app on your phone or keep a pocket notebook with you. When you ask for guidance, you will receive it. Don’t dismiss anything.
2. Change your story
At first, the story I told myself around my postpartum anxiety was, “I’m the victim.” I was devastated that this was my experience, and I was plagued by panic and exhaustion.
Telling myself this story only made me feel disempowered. So I changed my story. I’ve committed to shifting my perception of myself from victim to brave warrior. I’m proud of my willingness to witness the problem and choose love instead.
Now my story is, “I’m getting better every day.”
3. Honor your feelings with meditation
Resilience isn’t about pushing past our feelings or ignoring them. In order to be truly resilient, we must be able to feel our feelings.
Meditation is a safe way to honor your feelings, move through them and feel more balanced. I recommend meditating at least once every day. A consistent, committed practice cleans up your energy and helps you to be more resilient.
4. Don’t talk about the problem, talk about the solution
Many of us, when we’re going through something really hard, talk about it a lot. We obsess over it. We go down Google rabbit holes and find even more to talk about and obsess over. It’s a nasty cycle.
What happens when we talk about the problem constantly is that we give it more momentum. In my forthcoming book, Super Attractor, I write that what you focus on is what you create. When you think and talk about the problem 24/7, you lower your energetic vibration. As a result, you become an energetic match for more experiences of that same low vibration.
But when you begin to focus on the solution, you shift the momentum. You begin raising your vibration bit by bit, and you start to attract solutions. The solutions might come in the form of doctors or therapists. They might show up as creative ideas or new perspectives. The possibilities are limitless.
The bottom line is this: If you need to vent, vent. But don’t vent all day. Move on and give momentum to the new story.
Be conscious about who you talk to.
One other thing I want to note is that it’s important to be careful about who you lean on while you’re going through something really challenging. Is there someone in your life who cares about you in such a way that they get really nervous and scared when you’re not well?
Maybe this is the case with a parent, your romantic partner or a dear friend. They want to support you, but their connection to you is so strong or their own fears are so raw that they end up making you feel even more worried. That’s not going to help you.
As much as you love them, remember that you’re very impressionable when you’re trying to heal. Be gentle yet firm with your boundaries. Have compassion for them, but lean on someone else instead, whether that’s a friend, a sibling, a therapist, etc.
With people who aren’t in a good position to help you, what you can do is stay in your mantra. You can tell them something like, “Things are hard, but I have help and I’m getting better every day.”
5. Get moving
This is key. Exercise not only builds physical strength and endurance, but it also makes the brain more resilient to stress, according to Princeton researchers.
And let’s not forget that moving our body feels good! Move in whatever way feels good to you. I’ve been going on walks with my family. Being outdoors energizes me, grounds me and clears my mind.
There’s a lot of research on the ways exercise reduces stress and helps us relax. Your workout doesn’t need to be intense or complicated to have a massive impact on your resilience and mood. Just move.
6. Remember that you can still be healing and have a good day
I saved this tip for last because I want you to walk away with it fresh in your mind. This is something we all too often forget. You can be going through something hard, you can be healing, you can be in the midst of recovery, and you can have a good day.
I often tell people: String together your moments of joy. When you feel good, allow yourself to feel good. Life is never 100 percent anything, good or bad. You may be going through a really hard spiritual assignment but still experience glimmers of hope, gratitude, humor and happiness. It’s safe and good to feel good.
It’s easy to feel alone when doing personal growth work, so this sense of community and support is really energizing and inspiring. It takes a village—a tribe. Women Together is that tribe. Please join us for The Resilient Path: Transforming Fear into Love on Saturday, June 15, so we can explore these practices together. You can attend in person or from anywhere via live-stream.
While resilience is baked into all my books and talks, this will be the first time I’m addressing it specifically as a teacher.
I’ll leave you with this quote from my dear friend and teacher, the late Dr. Wayne Dyer:
Each experience in your life was absolutely necessary in order to have gotten you to the next place, and the next place, up to this very moment.
Gabby Bernstein, motivational speaker, life coach and entrepreneur, is the New York Times best-selling author of The Universe Has Your Back, Judgment Detox and others. She has been featured on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday as a “next-generation thought leader,” and was chosen for the Oprah Winfrey Network’s “SuperSoul 100,” a collection of 100 awakened leaders who are using their voices and talent to elevate humanity. Appearing regularly on The Dr. Oz Show, Gabby has been featured by numerous media outlets, including The Today Show, Kathy Lee & Hoda, ELLE and Cosmopolitan. Her newest book, Super Attractor, is due out this fall. gabbybernstein.com