Flexibility and Life Balance are Key for Being Resilient

Becoming a resilient person is an essential life skill for anybody. Regardless of your circumstances in life, you are bound to face hardships at some point in time. Building resilience helps you face these challenges and use them to become a stronger person. Many factors contribute to becoming resilient, including maintaining a positive attitude, having a good support system and taking care of yourself. Being flexible and keeping an adequate work/life balance is a key component in taking care of yourself. Here is why it matters and how you can do it. 

Be Flexible

Flexibility is the ability to adapt easily to change. People with high degrees of flexibility are able to adjust when circumstances change. Since change is a constant in everyone’s life, this trait is important. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it is also common among people with a high degree of resilience. According to a field study conducted by the Center, “Compared with their low-resilient counterparts, resilient people appear to be able to more flexibly match their emotional responses to the frequently changing emotional stimuli. Moreover, whereas high-trait-resilient participants exhibited divergent startle responses to positive versus negative pictures regardless of the valence of the preceding trial, low-trait-resilient participants did not exhibit divergent startle responses when the preceding picture was negative.” In essence, being flexible allows people to adopt a more positive mindset and more positive responses to stressful situations. 

Maintain a Life Balance

Much research has emerged on how maintaining a work-life balance helps people to be more content in their careers, but balance is important in everyone’s lives. This means focusing attention on all different aspects of your life, rather than placing emphasis on one specific area, such as work. SmartRecovery.org offers self management and recovery training to people struggling with addiction issues. The organization coaches lifestyle balance with a hand-out called Lifestyle Balance Pie. The exercise advises, “There are two main actions that lead to a balanced life. The first is to understand and respect each of the important areas of your life. The second consists of changing your perspective in the areas in which you are stuck.” While this exercise was developed for people who are recovering from addiction, the guidelines hold true for anyone, and they are a key component to building resilience. 

Balance Enhances Resilience and Vise Versa

Maintaining emotional flexibility and a balanced life can help you to become more resilient, but building up your resilience can help you maintain a more flexible mental outlook and life balance. The two go hand-in-hand. The Whidbey Institute, a personal development organization based in Clinton, Washington, recently held a seminar titled, Resilience Advantage: The Hidden Key to a Balanced Life 2015 Retreat. In the retreat description, the institute outlines why resilience is so important. “By allowing the stress of our emotions such as fear, frustration, impatience, anger and intolerance to take control of the center of our heart, it can have negative consequences for our psychological, physiological, personal health and performance. Therefore, strengthening resilience has become an important strategy for improving relationships, professional efficiency, productivity, and most importantly, well-being.”

Anybody can learn to be more emotionally flexible and resilient. But incorporating these changes into your life takes time and patience. By learning to become more adaptable to different situations in your life, and taking time to nurture all different areas of our life, you can become a more resilient person. Once you have learned these components of resilience, you will likely become more emotionally flexible and able to implement balance in all aspects of your life. When developed, these traits can help you thrive in the face of anything challenges that may arise in your life.