5 Secrets Of People Who Always Bounce Back After Tough Times

Sometimes it feels like everyone else is naturally stronger than you, but the truth is, resilience can be learned.

confident woman laughing, man in the background NDAB Creativity / shutterstock 

The American Heritage Dictionary defines resilience as the ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune.   

You always hear that kids are so resilient with various setbacks and traumas. Our level of resilience can and often does carry over into adulthood. I’m sure that if you think hard enough, you can recall at least one adult who has gone through some messy or tough times and still maintained their function, higher perspective, professionalism, or other positive aspect.


If you don’t know someone like this, find someone so you can have a model of what adult resilience looks like – someone who has fallen down seven times and gotten up eight, with grace and peace in their heart. Know that resilience is different for some and getting up every day to face a job you don’t necessarily enjoy in an effort to provide for yourself or your family counts too.

The good thing about resilience is anyone can be resilient or increase their resiliency with a little time, focus, and support.

The path to resilience is to continue onward, learning from the moments, gathering the right information so the next moment can be a little smoother.


It requires actions that support loving yourself enough to be resilient when you’re hit with a single heartbreaking challenge or an accumulation of let downs. These actions can be applied to relationships, career development, finances, social aspects, or other life challenges.  

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5 Secrets For Building Resilience & Overcoming Life’s Challenges

1. Say “thank you”.

At first glance this seems counterintuitive. Why would you say “thank you” for something seemingly bad that’s happened? Expressing gratitude puts you in a different state of mind. When you’re in the midst of a bad situation you tend to go into panic mode. Your thoughts start to degrade, and you may spiral into a loop of unproductivity and fear.

Being grateful for the situation helps you quell a portion of that emotion and opens your mind to more potential perspectives than being the victim, getting defensive, or having a panicked viewpoint.


With gratitude for where we are, we can see the situation as an opportunity to grow and learn something new. If you’ve not done this before it might odd, but the more you do this, the easier it gets and the more objective you can be in the moment.    

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2. Honor your emotions.

To ride the wave of objectivity, it is important to feel the emotions that are coming up for you in the situation. Pushing them down is not helpful, especially since you don’t know when they’re going to pop up again. Even though you’re thankful for this situation, you still have feelings about it.

Be sure to make space and time to feel and understand your emotions. Even in a time crunch, you can verbalize what you’re feeling, continue to feel it, and despite the emotion, still move forward.


Take time to feel unpleasant emotions like uncertainty, fear, guilt, disappointment, and regret. Write about them and talk about them until you can find a space of logical thinking for a span of time. Again, this response will take practice, and depending upon the intensity of the emotions will dictate how much time you need before you can make solid steps through the situation.  

If your emotions are a bit overwhelming, you make time to distract yourself by being busy. You make yourself feel useful through other activities like meetings, tasks, volunteering, or projects, to lessen the depth of what you may be feeling.

3. Gain perspective and clarity.

With some of the initial emotional response released, you can start evaluating the experience. You’re encouraged to speak with other people who are not involved in the situation to gain different perspectives that you may have overlooked in your own evaluation. Other people’s insight can offer various ways to handle a similar situation the next time. Talking with others also gives you a chance to constructively vent and creates a network of trust and communication.

A helpful aspect to your evaluation is to determine what you’ve lost in the situation, even if temporarily. This could be your temper, your perspective, co-dependency, or potential reputation, a friend, etc. Then determine what you’ve gained from the situation. It might be appreciation for others, knowledge of your trigger or threshold, understanding of other people, more unanswered questions, independence, etc.


For spiritual folks, this is a perfect time to commune with yourself or your version of Source in whatever way feels best for you. Ask for clarity of the situation and an openness to understanding. Bring in strength to see the truth of your role in the situation, if any, and how best to progress forward.

In this evaluation, it’s likely more emotion will surface. Be sure to re-address any fresh or layered feelings that arise. Take care and time to do what you need to before jumping back into whatever you consider normal to be.

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4. Take responsibility for your role in the situation.

Muster up the courage and appropriate communication to show that you’re taking responsibility for your participation in the situation.  Be sure to take responsibility only for what you’ve contributed. Don’t try to avoid your responsibility nor take on more responsibility than is truly yours.


In some cases, you may have no role in the situation where you may feel helpless or emotionally and psychologically affected by the way life unfolds. Here you can still take responsibility for what you’re feeling and nurture yourself. In this scenario, there is something for you to gain from your feelings and it’s recommended to work with your support network of family, friends, therapists to help move forward with acceptance. Having an attitude of moving onward and upward is helpful here.

5.  Incorporate new revelations into new experiences.

By releasing emotion, talking with others, and evaluating the situation, you now have a better understanding and perhaps updated beliefs, resolve, or information that you can apply to new situations. Any shifts in behavior that you would like to employ or insight of human behavior that you can access is now available to you.

Know that the learning gained from past experiences supports you more fully in the next tough situation that comes about. Not every tough situation is the same, but you’ll have a clearer perspective, emotional control, and self-confidence to get through the next unpleasant confrontation life throws your way.


These tips for building resilience keep you moving towards positivity with a clearer head and a calm demeanor while owning your actions and emotions. You begin to see things as they are rather than how you imagine or assume them to be, providing a broader range of vision, viewpoint, and response.

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Pamela Aloia is a certified grief coach, intuitive/medium, and author of inspirational books. Pamela supports people through change and helps them enhance their lives and experiences via energy awareness, meditation, and mindfulness.