Depression The Way You Feel Your Thoughts

4 Ways I Increased My Resilience

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My Dad killed himself when I was 18.

My Nan died a month later.

My Mum nearly died of alcoholism 6 months later.

My Brother nearly died this June.

But through all of this, I’ve realised…

Tough times don’t last… tough people do.

Resilience is an IMPORTANT skill to have as men. Being confident in our abilities to handle ANYTHING being thrown our way is true power.

When my Dad died I quickly fell into a victim mindset. Believing that I deserved what had happened to him. But with time and self awareness I came to realise…

I am not what happened to me, I am who I choose to become.

I recently shared some thoughts on dealing with tragedy, but in this article I want to highlight 4 things that will help you build up resilience.

4 things that have helped me…

1. Embrace Change

It sounds weird to say this, but without my Dad killing himself I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I wouldn’t be serving you with my personal experiences.

I’d probably still be in a 9-5 and miserable.

Now of course I wish my Dad was here over everything, but instead of letting challenging times halt your growth let it develop your growth.

mum and dad

Embrace change when it happens.

When you’re in the moment of tragedy this point can be difficult to accept, as your mind won’t give up the thought of what’s happening. But with time, a change in perspective can help you deal with challenging situations.

My brother’s recovery since his accident has been extraordinary, but his resilient mindset is something we can all learn from.

He has no ability to move right now, 5 months after his accident…

But he tries to see the positives, and he tries to embrace this life changing moment.

“I’ll never worry or stress about work ever again” he said to me. In comparison, the work stress he suffered before this accident is now minor to what he’s going through.

He could dwell on the accident, give up and struggle to recover or he could look forward, embrace change and stay positive…

me and steve

There’s two ways out of tough times…

Dwell on them and give up, or learn from them and push forward.

You decide.

2. Find Meaning

In the book ‘A Mans Search For Meaning’ the author says: “Men today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for…”

Without meaning (purpose) it’s hard to be resilient.

For me, I know that me sharing my story, overcoming the pain and dealing with it HELPS OTHERS.

It hopefully helps you.

But if I didn’t have meaning behind what I’m doing, I’d find it hard to get through tough times and stay resilient.

When times get tough, remind yourself of WHY. Remind yourself of meaning. Attach meaning to everything you do and you’ll find a reason to stay strong.

My family MEAN the world to me, I can’t give up… I can’t let them down. If I ever feel like I need to give up, I remind myself of them…

Find meaning and you’ll find strength.

paul amy family

3. Know What Makes You Feel Good

After my brothers accident I found myself in a dark hole. A hole of depression once again. But this time, it was EASIER to get out of it.

Why?

I knew what made me feel good, I knew what I needed to do.

I started exercising again.
I started journalling.
I was present.
I meditated.
I ate better.

Through my journey I’ve tested habits that I KNOW make me feel good. Now, through any tough time, I have these as ‘tools’ to change how I feel.

Work on developing good habits into your routine. Exercise is the most effective and easiest one, getting out for a short walk or run will help improve how you feel.

Become self aware enough to know what makes you feel good and use these habits as a way to get out of tough times.

So how have you developed resilience over the years?

Did this help?

Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Paul McGregor
Founder of MFM, Lecturer at the London College of Fashion and Online Consultant.
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