Ever wondered why certain people are more resilient than others? Naturally, genes have a big part to play (eg Boardman et al, 2008), but whatever your natural ability to cope, you can learn skills and approaches to improve it.
One of the key skills is to take control of what you focus on. For instance, people who focus on the positives in their lives – what they are grateful for – tend to be happier and more resilient than those who don’t (eg Wood et al, 2010). This is a skill which can be learned – for instance by running a daily diary of good things which happen to you. People who do this markedly increase their happiness and resilience.
Here are some focus clues which relate to wellbeing:
- Focus on solutions rather than problems.
- In your conversation go out of your way to speak about good things which have happened rather than negatives.
- Focus on the future and what you are looking forward to rather than dwelling on the past.
Not only will you improve your psychological wellbeing, you will be much more cheerful company!
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Boardman, J. D., Blalock, C. L., & Button, T. M. (2008). Sex differences in the heritability of resilience. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 11(1), 12-27.
Wood, A. M., Froh, J. J., & Geraghty, A. W. (2010). Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration. Clinical psychology review, 30(7), 890-905.