As I like to remind people, stress is inevitable; how we choose to deal with it is all up to us.

Hardiness is the idea that you can build up your energy reserves so that in the face of a stressful event, you are able to handle it with more grace and can bounce back more quickly and efficiently.

Working out is a great example of how we build physical hardiness. While working out for many of us is about working off stress, an additional benefit of getting stronger is that it helps insulate us against future stressors.

Some other ways to build hardiness include:

  • Create a positive mindset: When facing a challenging event, think about the best thing happening rather than the worst case scenario.
  • Control what you can control: Flying home the other day, our flight was rerouted which meant several of us might miss our flight. My seat neighbor was freaking out about missing her connection. I don’t think that helped too much….she made her flight and so did I.
  • Know your values: Committing to what you believe is important helps to keep going when things get tough.
  • Take on challenges: When you overcome some challenge like a new assignment at work or learning a foreign language at home, you discover things about yourself that you did not know you could accomplish.

There is nothing better than feeling strong and prepared to take on the challenges of your day. Being intentional about getting stronger is a great way to build your resilience.

© Richard Citrin, 2014


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