10 ways to thrive when life gets tough, two leading psychologists explain

In its simplest terms, resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. 

Resilience does not provide immunity to harm, but buffers the impact of stress and allows us to recover more quickly. 

Research indicates that resilience is linked to higher qualifications, better work performance, and mental wellness.

If there is one thing we know for certain it is that life is uncertain. 

None of us is inoculated from this and it our ability to manage, adapt and bounce back during unexpected, troubled or traumatic times that tests our resilience.

None of us is born with this trait and the good news is that it can be learned and developed. 

The key lies in developing emotional coping skills, and strengthening supportive relationships to be able to navigate the tough times, and adapt by learning from difficult experiences.

Through hardship we can find new meaning and strengths. Resilience does not provide immunity from harm but buffers the impact of stress and allows us to recover more quickly.

Whether surviving a tragedy like bereavement, an accident, a natural disaster or horrific event or facing up to more day to day challenges like illness, redundancy, a relationship break-up, failing an exam, being criticized online or in person and so on – discover how to build up your own personal reserves of resilience:

Dr Aria Campbell-Danesh, a leading psychologist

Dr Meg Arroll is a leading psychologist

Drs Aria Campbell-Danesh and Meg Arroll, both leading psychologists, explain how to build up your resilience

1. Give it attitude 

Attitude is everything when it comes to resilience. 

Thinking patterns such as 'I can't do this' and 'why me?' leave us feeling angry, frustrated and unable to move forward. 

Challenge these thoughts by building an attitude of tolerance and acceptance which should help you to adapt and thrive. Have confidence in yourself and your ability to cope.

2. Download tools to reduce your anxiety load

If you tend to feel overwhelmed by unexpected and challenging events, the NHS-backed Escape Your Anxiety program offers a whole range of free tools and resources to help you understand and manage stress and anxiety including how helping others can help shift your focus away from your own worries. 

It also recommends a range of relaxation and mindfulness apps. 

Mindfulness can help you to focus on your worries by accepting them uncritically in the moment and then letting them pass. This helps you train your thinking so you become less distracted and disturbed by worrying thoughts: in short, helping you become more resilient by becoming emotionally fitter.

3. Try a therapeutic oil

A World Health Organisation Report suggests CBD oil could be used effectively to treat the anxiety many of us feel during times of stress and change. 'CBD oil has a lifting and relaxing effects,' explains Medical Nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer adding it is 'particularly helpful for reducing anxiety, promoting relaxation and restful sleep.' Try Healthspan's High Strength CBD Oil, £18.99 – use one to eight of the drops up to three times a day to help you cope with anxious thoughts (www.healthspan.co.uk).

4. Find your resilience inspiration

Look at the long game. 

In this age of Insta, many things do appear instantaneous – success, love, money, etc – although obviously they rarely are. 

However, if we believe that this is the case, it can be very difficult to endure life's frustrations or negative feelings and setbacks. 

It can be helpful then to look out for role models, like Michelle Obama who has spoken openly about her struggles and how it has taken time for her to develop a resilient mindset.

5. Use this super simple exercise

During times of difficulty, our mind can ruminate on past regrets, catastrophize about future worst-case scenarios, and continually compare our situation to others. 

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