Believe it or not, there is a pretty basic trait that you may not realize will really help to make you a much happier person. It’s the ability to be adaptable. And the good news is that even if adaptability doesn’t come naturally to you, it is something you can intentionally work on and learn to become more of.

We all face different challenging circumstances and interactions on a daily basis and how we respond to these can vary greatly. Some of us buckle under the pressure of emotional discomfort and often find ourselves feeling hopeless or discouraged, while some of us get knocked down, rally, shake it off, pull our socks up and keep going. And most of us do some of each… depending on the situation and our state of mind and emotion in that particular moment.

Research has shown that our sense of satisfaction with our lives, our happiness and how connected and close we feel to others has quite a lot to do with our levels of adaptability. In order to learn to be more adaptable there are 6 things you can start working on now! (Don’t worry, you don’t have to do all of them perfectly right away. Just start practicing two or three and go from there). In fact, in order to help insure that you don’t try to take them all on at once I’m going to start by going through the first 3 in this post and then on the next post I’ll go over the next three.

Now, without further ado:


  1. Learn to Analyze Your Own Coping Mechanisms: We all face setbacks and obstacles in both our personal and professional lives – that’s normal. But being able to take a look at how we deal with those challenges and then having the willingness try a different coping method or learn a new one when necessary is important – if the initial one doesn’t seem to be working. If a strategy worked in one situation, it may not work in another, so instead of beating your head against the wall, take a step back, regroup, and try something different. For example, if talking to a close friend after having a conflict with someone at work helped quite a bit, but talking to a close friend about feeling overwhelmed with all of the things you have to get down over the next week, didn’t prove to be all that helpful, it might be better to sit down with your calendare
  2. Take Some Time to Get to Know Yourself: acknowledge, accept and celebrate your strengths and weaknesses and use both to your advantage. If you’re a person who finds rushing around in the morning before work stressful and doing so tends to make you feel grumpy until lunch break, then own that about yourself. Get up a bit earlier, maybe change your morning workout to one at noon or after work; shower in the evening instead of the morning; bring your breakfast to work and eat it while you’re going through your morning emails. The key is to know yourself and work with yourself instead of fighting yourself all the time. Being adaptable also means adapting your life to situations in which you thrive.
  3. Be Willing to Reinvent Yourself: Knowing your personality and the situations and circumstances in which you thrive is very important, and also being willing to push and expand yourself is also incredibly valuable. Putting ourselves in situations that may be somewhat our of our comfort zone is good for us because when we push ourselves a little bit we allow ourselves to be surprised at what we can do and are thus able to grow as individuals.

That’s all for now. Next time we’ll look at the next 3… so until then you can get a head start on these ones