According to cognitive psychologist Robert J. Sternberg, creativity can be broadly defined as
"...the process of producing something that is both original and worthwhile."Creativity is all
about finding new ways of solving problems and approaching situations. It is not a skill restricted
to artists, musicians or writers; it is a useful skill for people from all walks of life.
If you've ever wanted to boost your creativity, these tips can help;
This is to fully devote yourself to developing your creative abilities. Do not put off your efforts.
Set goals, enlist the help of others and put time aside each day to develop your skills.
2. Become an Expert
One of the best ways to develop creativity is to become an expert in that area. By having a rich
understanding of the topic, you will be better able to think of novel or innovative solutions to
different life problems.
3. Reward Your Curiosity
One common roadblock to developing creativity is the sense that curiosity is an indulgence.
Rather than reprimanding yourself, reward yourself when you are curious about something. Give
2. yourself the opportunity to explore new topics. While rewarding yourself is important, it is also
important to develop intrinsic motivation. Sometimes, the true reward of creativity is the process
itself, not the product.
4. Be Willing to Take Risks
When it comes to building your creative skills, you need to be willing to take risks in order to
advance your abilities. While your efforts may not lead to success every time, you will still be
boosting your creative talents and building skills that will serve you well in the future.
5. Build Your Confidence
Insecurity in your abilities can suppress creativity, which is why it is important to build
confidence. Make note of the progress you have made, commend your efforts and always be on
the lookout for ways to reward your creativity.
6. Make Time for Creativity
You won't be able to develop your creative talents if you don't make time for them. Schedule
some time each week to concentrate on some type of creative project.
7. Overcome Negative Attitudes that Block Creativity
According to a 2006 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
positive moods can increase your ability to think creatively. According to Dr. Adam Anderson,
senior author of the study, "If you are doing something that requires you be creative or be in a
think tank, you want to be in a place with good mood." Focus on eliminating negative thoughts
or self-criticisms that may impair your ability to develop strong creative skills.
8. Fight Your Fear of Failure (fear of unknown)
The fear that you might make a mistake or fail in your efforts can paralyze your progress.
Whenever you find yourself harboring such feelings, remind yourself that mistakes are simply
part of the process. While you may occasionally stumble on your path to creativity, you will
eventually reach your goals.
9. Brainstorm to Inspire New Ideas
Brainstorming is a common technique in both academic and professional settings, but it can also
be a powerful tool for developing your creativity. Start by suspending your judgment and self-
criticism, then start writing down related ideas and possible solutions. The goal is to generate as
many ideas as possible in a relatively short span of time. Next, focus on clarifying and refining
your ideas in order to arrive at the best possible choice.
3. 10. Realize That Most Problems Have Multiple Solutions
The next time to approach a problem, try looking for a variety of solutions. Instead of simply
going with the first idea you have, take the time to think of other possible ways to approach the
situation. This simple activity is a great way to build both your problem-solving and creative
11. Keep a Creativity Journal
Start keeping a journal to follow your creative process and track the ideas you produce. A journal
is a great way to reflect back on what you have accomplished and look for other possible
solutions. This journal can be used to save ideas that can later serve as future inspiration.
12. Create a Mind Map and Flow Chart
A mind map is a great way to connect ideas and look for innovative answers to questions. Create
a mind map by writing down a central topic or word. Next, link related terms or ideas around the
central word. While similar to brainstorming, this technique allows for branching ideas and
offers a very visual way of seeing how these ideas are linked.
As you start to develop a new project, create a flow chart to track the presentation of the project
from start to finish. Look for various paths or sequences of events that might occur. A flow chart
can help you visualize the final product, eliminate potential problems and create unique
13. Challenge Yourself and Create Opportunities for Creativity
Once you have developed some basic creative skills, it is important to continually challenge
yourself in order to further advance your abilities. Look for more difficult approaches, try out
new things and avoid always using the same solutions you have used in the past.
In addition to challenging yourself, you also need to create your own opportunities for creativity.
This might involve tackling a new project or finding new tools to use in your current projects.
14. Try the "Six Hats" Technique
The "six hats" technique involves looking at a problem from six differing perspectives. By doing
this, you can produce more ideas than you might have had you only looked at the situation from
one or two points of view.
The following are the six hats that can be adhered to;
Red Hat: Look at the situation emotionally. What do your feelings tell you?
White Hat: Look at the situation objectively. What are the facts?
4. Yellow Hat: Use a positive perspective. Which elements of the solution will work?
Black Hat: Use a negative perspective. Which elements of the solution won’t work?
Green Hat: Think creatively. What are some alternative ideas?
Blue Hat: Think broadly. What is the best overall solution?
15. Look for Sources of Inspiration
Never expect creativity to just happen. Look for new sources of inspiration that will give you
fresh ideas and motivate you to generate unique answers to questions. Read a book, visit a
museum, listen to your favorite music, check for interesting movies and inspiring pictures or
engage in a lively debate with a friend. Utilize whatever strategy or technique that works best for
16. Consider Alternative Scenarios
When approaching a problem, utilize "what if..." Some of the questions to consider in each
possible scenario are;
If you take a specific approach, what will the outcome be? What if you try another approach, is
there any difference from the first approach? By looking at these alternatives beforehand, you'll
be better able to develop creative solutions to problems.
17. Try the Snowball Technique
Have you ever noticed how one great idea often leads directly to another? You can take
advantage of this by utilizing a "snowball technique" when you are generating ideas for your
project. If the idea isn't appropriate for your current work, set it aside to work on later or
implement it in a future project. Therefore, applying these tips and other experiences from life
and the related environment will enable you to boost your creativity rather than staying idle and
let it die.
Studying creativity can be a tricky process. Not only is creativity a complex topic in and of itself,
but there is also no clear consensus on how exactly to define creativity. Many of the most
common definitions suggest that creativity is the tendency to solve problems
or create new things in novel ways.
The Components of Creativity
5. Two of the primary components of creativity include:
1. Originality: The idea should be something new that is not simply an extension of something else
that already exists.
2. Functionality: The idea needs to actually work or possess some degree of usefulness.
When Does Creativity Happen?
Researchers suggested that creativity can often be seen in few different situations;
People who seem stimulating, interesting, and have a variety of unusual thoughts.
People, who perceive the world with a fresh perspective, have insightful ideas and make
important personal discoveries. These individuals make creative discoveries that are generally
known only to them.
People who make great creative achievements that become known to the entire world. Inventors
and artists such as Thomas Edison and Pablo Picasso would fall into this category.
Types of Creativity
Experts also tend to distinguish between different types of creativity. The “four c” model of
creativity suggests that there are four different types:
1. “Mini-c” creativity involves personal meaningful ideas and insights that are known only to the
2. “Little-c” creativity involves mostly everyday thinking and problem-solving. This type of
creativity helps people solve everyday problems they face and adapt to changing environments.
3. “Pro-C” creativity takes place among professionals who are skilled and creative in their
respective fields. These individuals are creative in their vocation or profession but do not achieve
reputation for their works.
4. “Big-C” creativity involves creating works and ideas that are considered great in a particular
field. This type of creativity leads to reputation and approval and often leads to world-changing
creations such as medical innovations, technological advances, and artistic achievements.
What Does It Take to Be Creative?
6. Creative people tend to show different traits that contribute to their innovative thinking. Some of
these key traits include:
Energy: Creative people tend to possess a great deal of both physical and mental energy.
However, they also tend to spend a great deal of time quietly thinking and reflecting.
Intelligence: Psychologists have long believed that intelligence plays a critical role in creativity.
In the longitudinal study of gifted children, researchers found that while high IQ was necessary
for great creativity, not all people with high IQs are creative. Others believed that creative people
must be smart, but they must be capable of looking at things in fresh, even naïve, ways.
Discipline: Creative people do not just sit around waiting for inspiration to strike. They playful,
yet they are also disciplined in the pursuit of their work and passions.
Characteristics of Creative People
1. Creative people are energetic, but focused.
Creative people have a great deal of energy, both physical and mental. They can spend hours
working on a single thing that holds their attention, yet seem to remain keen all the while. This
doesn't mean that creative people are hyperactive or manic. They spend a great deal of time at
rest, quietly thinking and reflecting on the things that hold their interest.
2. Creative people are smart, but also naive.
Creative people tend to be smart, but research has shown that having a very high IQ is not
necessarily correlated with higher levels of creative achievement. Always creativity must
involve a certain amount of both wisdom and childishness. Creative people are smart, but they
are able to maintain their sense of wonder, curiosity, and ability to look at the world with fresh
3. Creative people are playful, yet disciplined.
A playful attitude is one of the hallmarks of creativity, but this lightheartedness and excitement is
also mirrored by a major paradoxical trait -perseverance. Consider what you would think when
you meet someone who is an artist. On the surface, it sounds exciting, romantic, and glamorous.
7. And for many, being an artist certainly does involve a great deal of excitement. A creative
person, however, realizes that real creativity involves combining both the fun and the hard work.
4. Creative people are realistic dreamers.
Creative people like to daydream and imagine the possibilities and wonders of the world. They
can immerse themselves in imagination and fantasy, yet remain grounded in reality. They are
often described as dreamers, but that doesn’t mean that they live with their heads in the clouds.
Creative types, ranging from scientists to artists to musicians, can come up with imaginative
solutions to real-world issues.
5. Creative people are extroverted and introverted.
Creative people are both extroverted and introverted. Research has shown that people do tend to
be either more extroverted or introverted and that these traits are remarkably stable.
Creative people, on the other hand, tend to exhibit characteristics of both types at the same time.
They are gregarious and reticent, sociable and quiet. Interacting with others can generate ideas
and inspiration, and retreating to a quiet place allows creative individuals to fully explore these
sources of creativity.
6. Creative people are proud, yet modest
Highly creative people tend to be proud of their achievements and accomplishments, yet they are
also aware of their place. They have tremendous respect for others who work in their field and
the influence that those previous innovations have had on their work. They can see that their
work is often remarkable in comparison to that of others, but it is not something they focus
on. They are often so focused on their next idea or project that they don't fixate on their past
7. Creative people are not weighed down by rigid gender roles.
Creative individual resist to at least some degree, the often rigid gender stereotypes and roles
that society often tries to enforce. Creative girls and women tend to be more dominant than other
8. girls, while creative boys and men are less aggressive and more sensitive than other males.
Creative individuals are more likely to have not only the strengths of their own gender but those
of the other one, too.
8. Creative people are conservative, yet rebellious.
Creative people are "out-of-the-box" thinkers by definition, and we often think of them as non-
conformist and even a little bit rebellious. Creativity requires being both traditional and
iconoclastic. Being able to appreciate and even embrace the past, while still seeking new and
improved ways of doing things.
Creative people can be conservative in many ways, yet they know that innovation sometimes
means taking risks.
9. Creative people are passionate, but objective about their work.
Creative people don't just enjoy their work - they dearly and passionately love what they do. But
just being passionate about something does not necessarily lead to great work. Creative people
love their work, but they are also objective about it and willing to be critical (and take criticism)
of it. They are able to separate themselves from their work and see areas that need work and
10. Creative people are sensitive and open to experience, but happy and
Normally creative people tend to be more open and sensitive, characteristics that can bring both
rewards and pains. The act of creating something, or coming up with new ideas and taking risks,
often opens people up to criticism and even scorn. It can be painful, even devastating, to devote
years to something only to have it rejected, ignored, or ridiculed. But being open to the creative
experience is also a source of great joy.
It can bring tremendous happiness, and many creative people believe that such feelings are well
worth the trade-off for any possible pain.
9. Part Two
Different researchers have suggested that, positive thinkers always have better stress coping
skills, stronger immunity, and a lower risk of heart disease. Although it is not a health cure,
taking positive view rather than pondering on negative thoughts can benefit your overall mental
So, are you a positive thinker or you want to become one?
The following are few common strategies that involve learning on how to identify negative
thoughts and replacing these thoughts with more positive ones. Remember, it might take some
time for you to become a positive thinker, but you may also find that thinking positively starts to
come more naturally if you want to.
Here are four things you can do to think positive.
1. Avoid Negative Self-Talk
Self-talk involves the things you mentally tell yourself. It is the inner voice inside your mind that
analyzes how you perform and interact with the world around you. If you are a self-talk on
negative thoughts, your self-esteem can suffer.
When you start thinking critical thoughts about yourself, take a moment to pause and make
assessment. Jot down your thought patterns and focus on changing them into positive ones.
When you catch yourself engaging in a negative thought, mentally telling yourself to "Stop" can
help break the pattern.
2. Try Funniness
It can be tough to stay positive when there is little comedy or happiness in your life. Even when
you are facing challenges, it is important to remain open to laughter and fun. Sometimes, simply
recognizing the potential humor in a situation can lessen your stress and brighten your outlook.
10. Seeking out sources of funniness such as watching a funny sitcom or reading jokes online can
help you think more positive thoughts.
3. Cultivate Hopefulness
Learning to think positively is like strengthening a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it
will become. Researchers believe that your explanatory style, or how you explain events, is
linked to whether you are an optimist or a pessimist.
Hopers tend to have a positive explanatory style. If you attribute good things that happen to your
skill and effort, then you are probably an optimist. Pessimists, on the other hand, usually have a
negative attribution style. If you credit these good events to outside forces, then you are likely to
have a more pessimistic way of thinking.
The same principles hold true for how you explain negative events. Optimists tend to view bad
or unfortunate events as isolated incidents that are outside of their control while pessimists see
such things as more common and often blame themselves.
By taking a moment to analyze the event and ensure that you are giving yourself the credit you
are due for the good things and not blaming yourself for things outside of your control, you can
start to become more optimistic/hopefull.
4. Keep Working
There is not on-off switch for positive thinking. Even if you are a natural-born idealist, positive
thinking can take effort in the face of challenging situations. Like any goal, the key is to stick
with it for the long-term. Even if you find yourself dwelling on negative thoughts, you can look
for ways to minimize negative self-talk and cultivate a more optimistic outlook.
Finally, do not be afraid to enlist the help of friends and family. When you start engaging in
negative thinking, call a friend or family member who you can count on to offer positive
encouragement and feedback. Remember that, to think positively you need to nurture yourself.
Investing energy in things you enjoy and surrounding yourself with optimistic people are just
two ways that you can encourage positive thinking in your life.
11. During a busy day, it can become all too easy to focus on the negative. You might feel tired,
overworked, and stressed out by all of the conflicting demands on your time. As a result,
negative thoughts can creep into your mind. While you know that thinking positively is better for
your state of mind, you might be surprised to learn that it can also be good for your health.
Research has demonstrated that positive thinking can have a wide variety of benefits, from
improving your self-confidence and psychological well-being to actually boosting your physical
What can you do to eliminate negative thoughts and replace them with a more positive
outlook? Even if you are not a natural-born optimist, there are things you can do to develop your
positive thinking skills and gain some of the benefits of positive thinking.
1. Focus on Your Thoughts
In order to be a positive thinker, you need to learn how to really analyze your thoughts. The
stream-of-conscious flow of thought can be difficult to focus on, especially if self-examination is
not your strong suit. When you encounter a challenging situation, try to notice how you think
about what is happening.
Do you mentally criticize yourself or others? This negative thinking presents a major
obstacle, but identifying such thoughts is the first step in overcoming them.
Some of the most common types of negative thinking involve focusing on only the undesirable
aspects of a situation. For example,
Imagine that you have just spent a busy day at work. You gave a presentation and
completed several tasks ahead of schedule, but you forgot to return an important phone
12. Despite the successes of the day, that evening you find yourself reflecting on that one slip-up and
worry how it will affect your success at work. Instead of reflecting on the positive and
acknowledging the negative, you are ignoring the good and magnifying the bad.
Self-blame is another common type of negative thinking. This type of negative thinking
can be particularly damaging to your psychological well-being. By taking the blame for
things that are not your fault or are not in your control, your self-esteem and self-
confidence take a serious hit.
Changing the negative thought cycle can be a challenge and it is a process that takes time. It
is important to note that repeating the inanities that are often recommended by self-help
books ("I'm good enough! I'm smart enough! People like me!"), can actually have a negative
impact on your self-image. Positive thinking is not about putting on a pair of rose-colored
glasses and ignoring all the negative things you will encounter in life. That approach can be
just as overwhelming as ignoring the positive and only focusing on the negative. Balancing
with a healthy dose of practicality is the key.
Now, what can you do when you find yourself overwhelmed with negative thoughts?
Start with small steps. After all, you are essentially trying to cultivate a new habit here,
and as anyone who has ever tried to change a behavior or keep a resolution can tell you,
these things take time.
Identify the area of your life that is most affected by negative thinking. Perhaps you tend
to think negatively about your personal appearance or your performance in school. By
starting with a single and relatively specific area of your life, the changes will be more
likely to stick over the long-run.
So, imagine you have chosen to focus on your negative thinking with regards to school. The next
step is to spend a little bit of time each day evaluating your own thoughts. When you find
yourself thinking critical thoughts about yourself, take a moment to pause and reflect. While you
might be upset about getting a bad grade on an exam, think if rebuking yourself is really the best
approach. Also think if there is any way to put a positive spin on the situation.
13. While you might not have done well on this exam, at least you have a better indication of how to
structure your study time for the next big test.
Watch carefully for negative self-talk. When your inner speech starts suggesting that you
will never get your assignments done on time or that the work is too hard, find a way to
take a more positive view of the situation. For example,
If you are struggling to finish a research paper on time, look for ways that you
can rearrange your schedule to make more time for the project rather than
giving into hopelessness.
When a homework assignment seems too difficult to complete, see if taking a
different approach to the problem or seeking out assistance from a classmate
Being a positive thinker is not about ignoring reality in favor of ambitious thoughts. It is more
about taking a proactive approach to your life. Instead of feeling hopeless or overwhelmed,
positive thinking allows you to tackle life's challenges by looking for effective ways to resolve
conflict and come up with creative solutions to problems. It might not be easy, but the positive
impact it will have on your mental, emotional, and physical health will be well-worth it. It takes
practice; lots of practice indeed. This is not a step-by-step process that you can complete and be
done with. Instead, it involves a lifelong commitment to looking inside yourself and being
willing to challenge negative thoughts and make positive changes.
14. Probably in your life you have ever had someone to tell you to "looking on the bright side" or to
"see the cup as half full.
Findings suggest that not only are positive thinkers healthier and less stressed, they also have
greater overall well-being.
According to positive psychology researcher Suzanne Segerstrom, "Setbacks are inherent to
almost every worthwhile human activity, and a number of studies show that optimists are in
general both psychologically and physiologically healthier."
Even if positive thinking does not come naturally to you, there are plenty of great reasons to start
cultivating positive thoughts and minimizing negative self-talk.
1. Positive Thinkers Cope Better With Stress
When faced with stressful situations, positive thinkers cope more effectively than pessimists. In
one study, researchers found that when optimists encounter a disappointment (such as not getting
a job or promotion) they are more likely to focus on things they can do to resolve the situation.
Rather than dwelling on their frustrations or things that they cannot change, they will devise a
plan of action and ask others for assistance and advice. Pessimists, on the other hand, simply
assume that the situation is out of their control and there is nothing they can do to change it.
2. Improving Your Immunity
In recent years, researchers have found that your mind can have a powerful effect on your body.
Immunity is one area where your thoughts and attitudes can have a particularly powerful
influence. In one study, researchers found that activation in brain areas associated with negative
15. emotions led to a weaker immune response to a flu vaccine. Researchers Segerstrom and
Sephton found that people who were optimistic about a specific and important part of their lives,
such as how well they were doing in school, exhibited a stronger immune response than those
who had a more negative view of the situation.
3. Positive Thinking Is Good for Your Health
Not only can positive thinking impact your ability to cope with stress and your immunity, it also
has an impact on your overall well-being.
For example a number of health benefits associated with optimism, includes reduced risk of
death from circulatory problems, less depression, and an increased lifespan.
While researchers are not entirely clear on why positive thinking benefits health, some suggest
that positive people might lead healthier lifestyles. By coping better with stress and avoiding
unhealthy behaviors, they are able to improve their health and well-being.
4. It Can Make You More Resilient
Resilience refers to ability to cope with problems. Resilient people are able to face a crisis or
trauma with strength and resolve. Rather than falling apart in the face of such stress, they have
the ability to carry on and eventually overcome such adversity. It may come as no surprise to
learn that positive thinking can play a major role in resilience. When dealing with a challenge,
optimists typically look at what they can do to fix the problem. Instead of giving up hope, they
marshal their resources and are willing to ask others for help.
Researchers have also found that in the wake of a crisis, such as a terrorist attack or natural
disaster, positive thoughts and emotions encourage thriving and provide a sort of buffer
against depression among resilient people. Fortunately experts also believe that such
positivism and resilience can be cultivated. By nurturing positive emotions, even in the face
of terrible events, people can reap both short-term and long-term rewards, including
managing stress levels, lessening depression, and building coping skills that will serve them
well in the future.
16. Final Thoughts
Before you put on those rose-colored glasses, it is important to note that positive thinking is not
about taking a "Pollyanna" approach to life. In fact, researchers have found that in some
instances, optimism might not serve you well. For example, people who are excessively
optimistic might overestimate their own abilities and take on more than they can handle,
ultimately leading to more stress and anxiety.
Instead of ignoring reality in favor of the silver lining, psychologists suggest that positive
thinking middles on such things as a belief in your abilities, a positive approach to challenges,
and trying to make the most of bad situations. Bad things will happen. Sometimes you will be
disappointed or hurt by actions of others. This does not mean that the world is out to get you or
that all people will let you down. Instead, positive thinkers will look at the situation realistically,
search for ways that they can improve the situation, and try to learn from their experiences.
Resilience is what gives people the psychological strength to cope with stress and calamity.
Psychologists believe that resilient individuals are better able to handle such adversity and
rebuild their lives after a catastrophe.
Dealing with change or loss is an inevitable part of life. At some point, everyone experiences
varying degrees of setbacks. Some of these challenges might be relatively minor (not getting into
a class you wanted to take), while others are disastrous on a much larger scale (hurricanes,
tornadoes, terrorist attacks). How we deal with these problems can play a significant role in not
only the outcome but also the long-term psychological consequences.
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to remain calm in the face of disaster while
others appear to fall apart? People that can keep their cool have what psychologists call
resilience, or an ability to cope with problems and setbacks.
17. Resilient people are able to utilize their skills and strengths to cope and recover from problems
and challenges. These problems may include job loss, financial problems, illness, natural
disasters, medical emergencies, divorce, or the death of a loved one.
Those who lack this resilience may instead become overwhelmed by such experiences. They
may dwell on problems and use unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with life’s challenges.
Disappointment or failure might drive them to unhealthy, destructive, or even dangerous
behaviors. These individuals are slower to recover from setbacks and may experience more
psychological distress as a result.
Resilience does not eliminate stress or erase life's difficulties. People who possess this resilience
don’t see life through rose-colored lenses. They understand that setbacks happen and that
sometimes life is hard and painful. They still experience the emotional pain, grief, and sense of
loss that comes after a tragedy, but their mental outlook allows them to work through such
feelings and recover.
Instead, resilience gives people the strength to tackle problems head on, overcome adversity, and
move on with their lives. In the wake of traumas such as the 9/11 attacks and the Hurricane
Katrina disaster, many individuals demonstrated the behaviors that typify resilience.
Even in the face of events that seem utterly unimaginable, people can marshal the strength to not
just survive, but to prosper.
Factors That Contribute to Resilience
Some individuals come by these abilities naturally, with personality traits that help them remain
unflappable in the face of challenge. However, these behaviors are not just inborn traits found in
a select few individuals. According to many experts, resilience is quite common, and people are
very capable of learning the skills that it takes to become more resilient.
Social support is another critical variable that contributes to resilience. Mentally strong people
tend to have the support of family and friends who help bolster them up in times of trouble.
Other factors associated with resilience include:
18. Holding positive views of themselves and their abilities
The capacity to make realistic plans and stick to them
Having an internal locus of control
Being a good communicator
Viewing themselves as fighters rather than victims
Having high emotional intelligence and managing emotions effectively
Characteristics of Resilience
While people vary dramatically in the coping skills they use when confronting a crisis,
researchers have identified some key characteristics of resilience. Many of these skills can be
developed and strengthened, which can improve your ability to deal with life's setbacks.
Resilient people are aware of the situation, their own emotional reactions and the behavior of
those around them. In order to manage feelings, it is essential to understand what is causing them
By remaining aware, resilient people can maintain their control of the situation and think of new
ways to tackle problems.
An Understanding that Setbacks are Part of Life:
Another characteristic of resilience is the understanding that life is full of challenges. While we
cannot avoid many of these problems, we can remain open, flexible, and willing to adapt to
An Internal Locus of Control:
Do you perceive yourself as having control over your own life? Or do you blame outside sources
for failures and problems? Generally, resilient people tend to have what psychologists call an
internal locus of control.
19. They believe that the actions they take will affect the outcome of an event. Of course, some
factors are simply outside of our personal control, such as natural disasters. While we may be
able to put some blame on external causes, it is important to feel as if we have the power to make
choices that will affect our situation, our ability to cope, and our future.
Strong Problem-Solving Skills:
Problem-solving skills are essential.
When a crisis emerges, resilient people are able to spot the solution that will lead to a safe
outcome. In danger situations, people sometimes develop tunnel vision. They fail to note
important details or take advantages of opportunities. Resilient individuals, on the other hand, are
able to calming and rationally look and the problem and envision a successful solution.
Having Strong Social Connections:
Whenever you're dealing with a problem, it is important to have people who can offer support.
Talking about the challenges you are facing can be an excellent way to gain perspective, look for
new solutions, or simply express your emotions.
Friends, family member, co-workers, and online support groups can all be potential sources of
Identifying as a Survivor, Not a Victim:
When dealing with any potential crisis, it is essential to view yourself as a survivor. Avoid
thinking like a victim of circumstance and instead look for ways to resolve the problem. While
the situation may be unavoidable, you can still stay focused on a positive outcome.
Being Able to Ask for Help:
While being resourceful is an important part of resilience, it is also essential to know when to ask
for help. During a crisis, people can benefit from the help of psychologists and counselors
specially trained to deal with crisis situations. Other potential sources of assistance include:
20. Books – Reading about people who have experienced and overcome a similar problem
can be both motivating and good for ideas on how to cope.
Online Message Boards – Online communities can provide continual support and a
place to talk about issues with people who have been in a similar situation.
Support Groups – Attending support group meetings is a great way to talk about the
challenges you're facing and find a network of people who can provide compassion and
Psychotherapy – If you are having trouble coping with a crisis situation, consulting a
qualified mental health professional can help you confront the problem, identify your
strengths, and develop new coping skills.
Ways to Become More Resilient
Resilience can often mean the difference between handling pressure and losing your cool.
Resilient people tend to maintain a more positive outlook and cope with stress more effectively.
Research has shown that while some people seem to come by resilience naturally, these
behaviors can also be learned. The following are just a few of the techniques you should focus on
in order to foster your own resilience.
1. Find a Sense of Purpose in Your Life
After her 13-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Candace Lightner founded Mother's
Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Upset by the driver's light sentence, Lightner decided to focus
her energy into creating awareness of the dangers of drunk driving. "I promised myself on the
day of Cari's death that I would fight to make this needless homicide count for something
positive in the years ahead," she later explained. In the face of crisis or tragedy, finding a sense
of purpose can play an important role in recovery. This might involve becoming involved in your
community, cultivating your spirituality, or participating in activities that are meaningful to you.
2. Build Positive Beliefs in Your Abilities
Research has demonstrated that self-esteem plays an important role in coping with stress and
recovering from difficult events. Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments.
21. Becoming more confident about your own ability to respond and deal with crisis is a great way
to build resilience for the future.
3. Develop a Strong Social Network
Having caring, supportive people around you acts as a protective factor during times of crisis. It
is important to have people you can confide in. While simply talking about a situation with a
friend or loved one will not make troubles go away, it allows you to share your feelings, gain
support, receive positive feedback, and come up with possible solutions to your problems.
4. Embrace Change
Flexibility is an essential part of resilience. By learning how to be more adaptable, you'll be
better equipped to respond when faced with a life crisis. Resilient people often utilize these
events as an opportunity to branch out in new directions. While some people may be crushed by
abrupt changes, highly resilient individuals are able to adapt and thrive.
5. Be Optimistic
Staying optimistic during dark periods can be difficult, but maintaining a hopeful outlook is an
important part of resiliency. Positive thinking does not mean ignoring the problem in order to
focus on positive outcomes. It means understanding that setbacks are transient and that you have
the skills and abilities to combat the challenges you face. What you are dealing with may be
difficult, but it is important to remain hopeful and positive about a brighter future
6. Nurture Yourself
When you're stressed, it can be all too easy to neglect your own needs. Losing your appetite,
ignoring exercise, and not getting enough sleep are all common reactions to a crisis situation.
Focus on building your self-nurturance skills, even when you are troubled. Make time for
activities that you enjoy. By taking care of your own needs, you can boost your overall health
and resilience and be fully ready to face life's challenges.
22. 7. Develop Your Problem-Solving Skills
Research suggests that people who are able come up with solutions to a problem are better able
to cope with problems than those who cannot. Whenever you encounter a new challenge, make a
quick list of some of the potential ways you could solve the problem. Experiment with different
strategies and focus on developing a logical way to work through common problems. By
practicing your problem-solving skills on a regular basis, you will be better prepared to cope
when a serious challenge emerges.
8. Establish Goals
Crisis situations are daunting. They may even seem insurmountable. Resilient people are able to
view these situations in a realistic way, and then set reasonable goals to deal with the problem.
When you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by a situation, take a step back to simply assess
what is before you. Brainstorm possible solutions, and then break them down into manageable
9. Take Steps to Solve Problems
Simply waiting for a problem to go away on its own only prolongs the crisis. Instead, start
working on resolving the issue immediately. While there may not be any fast or simple solution,
you can take steps toward making your situation better and less stressful. Focus on the progress
that you have made thus far and planning your next steps, rather than becoming discouraged by
the amount of work that still needs to be accomplished.
10. Keep working on you skills
Resilience may take time to build, so do not become discouraged if you still struggle to cope
with problematic events. According to Dr. Russ Newman, "research has shown that resilience is
not an extraordinary thing but is rather ordinary and can be learned by most anyone".
Psychological resilience does not involve any specific set of behaviors or actions, but can vary
dramatically from one person to the next. Focus on practicing some of the common
characteristics of resilient people, but also remember to build upon your existing strengths.
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