“Life’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

No one is immune to adversity. Life can throw some serious curve balls at us all at once and create our very own prefect storm. Resilience is the ability to not only ride out the storm but to rise to the challenge.

Some people are born with their glass half full and seem to triumph in adversity, however studies have shown that the rest of us can learn how to increase our resilience.

Resilient people understand that pain and misfortune are not end points and take positive steps towards seeing the silver lining and opportunity that adversity presents.

Here are 5 ways researchers have shown that you can build on your bank of resilience.

1. Build a community of support
Reach out to others. Many studies have shown that the number one factor in resilience is having positive supporting relationships within and outside the family. Surround yourself with people you love and trust, people who ‘fill your bucket’ with encouragement and reassurance. Connect with role models you admire for inspiration.

2. Forgiveness
“Having resentment or grievance is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemy” – Nelson Mandela
Studies have shown that adults who appear more resilient than others show characteristics of forgiveness. It is not about condoning the wrong but being able to let it go. Forgiveness is something you do for yourself and not for the person that has wronged you. It seems to be a necessity and not a choice, to be able to let go of the anger or resentment and move forward with freedom and resilience.

3. Gratitude
Being grateful for your present situation right now. Expressing gratitude will increase your energy, cultivate a ‘giving’ attitude and help you sleep better. It takes practice to see the glass as half full so start training now. What are you grateful for? Find 3 things every day that you are grateful for and write them down in a gratitude journal.

4. Self compassion
Research suggests that people who are more self-compassionate lead healthier, more productive lives than those who are self-critical. Self-compassion steps in precisely when we fall down, allowing us to get up and try again leading to increased resilience. Resilient people know who they are and are accepting of their own and life’s imperfections. Be kind and compassionate towards yourself. Accept without judgement who you are and your circumstances. Value your strengths. Be your own best friend.

5. Find meaning in adversity
Every pain contains a lesson. What is your pain telling you? The more you can turn challenges into opportunities to learn and grow, the more resilient you are likely to be. “Looking at pain as an opportunity to learn and problem solve – and building the confidence and the habit of moving toward the pain instead of running from it – goes a long way in terms of building resiliency,” explains clinical psychologist David Sabine. Finding the silver lining and the good even in the worst of circumstances and creating something meaningful out of it helps us deal positively with adversity.