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5 Tips To Help Build Resilience, Self-esteem & Happiness

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

How To Boost Your Wellbeing

I was talking to a client recently about strategies they could use to boost their general wellbeing. We discussed various options, many of which focused on activities that generated positive emotions.

While all the activities were appealing to my client, they couldn't see how they would help in the long run. Sure, when they were doing the activity they might feel relaxed, connected or joyful, but what happens after they stop?

Luckily, I had the answer. One central theory in positive psychology is called 'Broaden and Build'. It basically says that by increasing positive experiences (and generating positive emotions) you broaden your perspective, increasing your opportunity to make new discoveries about yourself and others. This leads to the creation of new personal resources, such as tools, knowledge and supportive relationships, which in turn increases personal development.

This development strengthens the neural pathways that identify good things that happen (e.g. instead of worrying about the future or dwelling on annoying events), which means you are increasingly likely to notice more positive emotions and feel content and happy with life.

Finally, this personal growth increases your self-esteem, resilience, and belief in yourself; leading you to survive, thrive and feel alive!

The positive emotions this generates, returns you to the start of the cycle and you end up with a continuing broadening and building of your personal resources, self-belief and resilience.

Boosting Your Wellbeing In Practice

Imagine you are visiting a new country. You show excitement, curiosity and interest about what is there, which leads you to broaden your perspective and visit a tourist information centre or website. Armed with new resources, maybe a map and some leaflets, you decide to go exploring.

While wandering down a main road you notice a side street and decide to take it - your excitement has led to some positive risk-taking!

Down the beautiful old cobbled side-street you discover a wonderful little restaurant offering local food; and while you would normally walk past, you decide to try something new and go in.

The fantastic food is local, seasonal and freshly made, and after chatting with the owner (something else you wouldn't normally do) you discover you have loads in common and make a new friend for life.

The trip ends up being better than you ever imagined and your new friends recommend loads of places that tourists wouldn't normally know about.

On your return, your enthusiasm for your trip led you to take a language class and you discovered you had a knack for pronunciation. You are well on your way to fluency now, especially because you enjoy returning to the place every year to visit your friends; discovering something new every time you visit.

Sure, while perhaps this is a little contrived, the above story is a great example of the power of broaden and build. It demonstrates how it can change your life simply by encouraging you to focus on the positive, step beyond your usual perspective and challenge yourself.

5 Tips To Help You Improve Your Resilience, Self-esteem and Wellbeing

Here are some simple things you could do to increase your focus on positive experiences;

1. Find Three Good Things

Each evening think of three good things that happened in the day / three things you are grateful for / three things you are proud of / three funny things that happened / three things you learned. It's a great one to talk about with others, especially children.

2. Open Your Eyes

Tune into your surroundings and notice small changes in nature as the seasons progress. Use your senses to spot things that others might miss and appreciate how wild things look for opportunities everywhere.

3. Embrace Your Inner Child

Challenge yourself to do something fun that feels outside your comfort zone. Whether it's learning a new hobby, trying a new physical activity or meeting up with friends to play a game, don't be afraid to embrace your inner child and have a laugh.

4. Step Off The Beaten Track

Visit a new place; whether that's a new route on a walk, a new place in your home town, or a new city/country entirely. Try going off the beaten track or just taking a different route home and notice what new things you see and experience.

5. Savour The Moment

Savour positive emotions by learning to tune into them and use your senses to be fully present in the moment. This helps extend the feeling and makes it easier to recall later, which builds positive affect and contributes to the broaden and build effect discussed above.

I hope you have enjoyed this article. If you want a weekly guide to increasing your resilience, wellbeing and self-esteem, sign up to my newsletter using the link below.

Each week you will receive practical tips and suggestions to help you boost your wellbeing and take control of your life using positive psychology coaching.

Or get in touch to discuss how my 1:2:1 coaching sessions could help you overcome stress, anxiety or burnout and feel calmer, more balanced, and in control of your life.


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