Seed World

Resiliency Helps You Weather the Storm and Grow

Production agriculture requires the ability to contend with seemingly uncontrollable forces, for example nature and markets. Add to these — both large and small issues of personal health, family relationships, workplace conditions, finances, and the difficulties can seem to just pile up. Each and any event can strike us in different ways and at different times, and often by surprise, bringing a unique flood of thoughts, emotional overload and uncertainty. It is important to recognize that while most of the time, we can handle life’s challenges, sometimes changes can be overwhelming. Do not hesitate to ask for help sooner rather than later.

Resilience is the process and outcome of successfully adapting to challenging experiences through emotional and behavioral flexibility in the face of changing demands.

Resilience is a skill and a resource that must be practiced and cultivated to be available when it’s needed. Challenges are unavoidable. However, with intention, we can turn these challenges into learning opportunities that will help us be more confident and courageous when met with future situations. Like building muscle, increasing your resilience takes time and effort. To increase your capacity for resilience to weather — and to grow from — challenges, consider these strategies.

Build Your Connections

Prioritize relationships. Build and nurture a network of caring and understanding people to remind you that you’re not alone in the midst of difficulties. Challenging events can drive us to isolation, but it’s important to prioritize genuinely connecting with people who care about you. Be comfortable to accept their help and support. Consider a weekly date night with your spouse or regular lunches with friends.

Join a group. Along with one-on-one relationships, being active in civic groups, faith-based or other local organizations provides social support. Find a community in your area that could offer you support and a sense of purpose or joy.

Foster Wellness

Take care of your body. Because stress is as much physical as emotional, self-care is good for building resilience. Regular exercise, proper nutrition, sleep and hydration strengthen your body to adapt to stress and reduce the toll of negative emotions.

Practice mindfulness. Journaling, yoga, and prayer or meditation can help build internal connections and restore hope, and can prime our mind and body to deal with situations that require resilience. Concentrate on positive aspects of your life and recall the things for which you are grateful.

Find Purpose

Help others. Volunteering with a local shelter or supporting a friend in their own time of need can create a sense of purpose, foster greater self-worth, connect with other people, all of which grow resilience.

Move toward your goals. Continuously develop realistic goals and do something regularly — even if it seems like a small accomplishment — that enables you to move toward the things you want to accomplish. Instead of focusing on tasks that seem unachievable, ask yourself, “What’s one thing I know I can accomplish today that helps me move in the direction I want to go?” Taking initiative reminds us that we can muster motivation and purpose even during stressful periods of life, increasing the likelihood that we will rise in the face of the next challenge.

Embrace Healthy Thoughts

Keep things in perspective. How we think plays a significant part in how we feel — and how resilient we are when faced with obstacles. Try (perhaps with a trusted friend) to identify areas of irrational thinking, such as a tendency to dramatize difficulties or assume the worst, and adopt a more balanced and realistic thinking pattern. For example, if you feel overwhelmed by a challenge, remind yourself that what happened to you isn’t an indicator of how your future will go, and that you’re not helpless.

Accept change. Accept that change is a part of life. Certain goals or ideals may no longer be attainable as a result of adverse situations in your life. Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter. You may not be able to change a highly stressful event, but you can change how you interpret and respond to it.

Maintain a hopeful outlook. It’s hard to be positive when life isn’t going your way. An optimistic outlook empowers you to expect that good things will happen to you. Try describing what you want, rather than what you fear.

While you may not be able to control all of your circumstances, you can grow by focusing on the aspects of life’s challenges you can manage, especially with the support of others. The important thing is to remember you are not alone on your life journey.

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