You become resilient
How many times have you heard of resilience , especially in relation to stress?
Surely you’ve already got an idea of what it means to be resilient, but in practice, you still don’t have the certainty of having developed the tools useful or necessary to be so. In this article, I intend to illustrate some concrete strategies for working on your resilience.
Resilience is a term born in engineering, and it means the property of a material to resist a certain pressure exerted by an external agent, returning to its original form. When we talk about people, however, the concept of takes on a different connotation.
In psychology , it indicates the ability to cope with traumatic events in a positive way, to adapt, to positively reorganize one’s life in the face of difficulties without alienating one’s identity.
In other words, it is the ability to return to a balanced condition after being subjected to stress, including:
- Natural disasters: hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, diseases, viruses, etc …
- Uncertainty: when you don’t know what will happen.
- Internal conflicts: when there is a discrepancy between what you have and where you are (situation as is) and what you want.
- External pressures: when you are asked to do more, better, in less time, and therefore you have the feeling that your internal resources are lower than the external request.
- Internal pressures: when requests are not objective, they do not come from outside, but from demanding too much of oneself, feeling judged, wanting to be perfect.
Whenever we are faced with stress, our resilience is tested. and therefore, it is necessary to understand which tools should be put into play to overcome the specific moment or situation effectively and possibly build new ones.
These tools derive from our inner abilities and forces, are specific to each one, due to the difficulties that each one is facing specifically, and belong to some areas that I present in the next lines. Remember that in the path of personal growth there are no shortcuts: it is appropriate to stop, understand the situation and get involved personally.
First of all, in any situation or difficulty, attitudes play a central role : your way of facing the situation, your thoughts.
in a crisis situation, it is natural to “fall” into some traps, such as:
- wanting to find a cause, a scapegoat to whom to attribute the “fault” or the origin of what happened. It is a humanly normal attitude to seek an answer to the question: “Why?” “Why me?” “What have I done wrong?”
- Confronting, comparing with those who seem to be well, not having or not being able to understand their problem.
- Focus only on what goes wrong, which often leads to the risk of creating a vicious circle and seeing the negative in every area of life
There are more or less serious situations, more or less strong pressures that everyone, I repeat all, face in their own lives. Opposing them will only make them worse, stronger.
On the other hand, taking time to observe what is happening in the present is instead a more useful attitude to start accepting a situation even when it seems unbearable. Accepting the idea of the impermanence of things will help to think that although the present is difficult, tomorrow can be different, that one can therefore welcome the future with a more open, lighter mind.
The second category of tools at your disposal are the values : the compass that guides us, the cornerstones that guide – or should guide – our every action. So I suggest asking: “What are my values?”
Having two or three main ones is a great help to understand what to do, where to go, even when you have the feeling of being unable to act.
The values and actions are closely linked to their mission, their purpose of life, and actions are those small gestures or steps that you can do every day towards the realization of the same.
Thirdly, we find emotions : what are you feeling right now? It is not always easy to be aware of it, but giving a name to what you feel will help to rationalize and get rid of what you feel inside.
The strongest basic emotions at the origin of stress are sadness, anxiety related to loneliness and uncertainty about the future, anger at not being able to explain what is happening, and the feeling of tiredness, or exhaustion that is created when the stress continues.
When you feel on the ground, what to do to find your energies?
A very effective piece of advice is to focus on what is under control, therefore what you have capacity for action on. It is not possible to change your emotions to your liking, but according to mindfulness and cognitive psychology, it will be very useful to start observing them, to be aware of them and aware to learn how to manage them. In this way, as a puppet, spectator of one’s own life, we move on to being its directors or at least actors.
Even in work, often at the center of our thoughts, it is useful to stop and study the situation from a different point of view, with a mentality different from our default mode, thinking for example; “What would my” hero “do in my shoes?” seeking to change perspective will help to understand the big picture, to be more awake, and therefore more resilient in a given situation, rather than a pawn at the mercy of events.
As a fourth step, embarking on a path to increase resilience cannot ignore the awareness of one’s limiting beliefs, that is, the deeply rooted beliefs and self-judgments that create a brake on realization. To overcome them, it can help to find contrary evidence.
For example, if Lucia’s belief is that success only comes through sacrifice, effort and hard work. then it is she herself who, more or less consciously, is creating a stress in exchange for that reward which otherwise she would not feel worthy of! Working on the limiting belief, understanding its origin and finding evidence to the contrary, it is very useful to get rid of a burden that does nothing but prevent its realization
Even your inner voice, self-dialogue, if positive and empowering, can help increase resilience, to give that quid of energies that sometimes you have to learn to pull out!
To summarize, find motivation and inner support, which starts from itself, and focus on the areas you now have control over, keeping a focus on your values and a pro-active attitude, will help to find the energies to better face the their difficulties, even in difficult situations, and indeed, make these an opportunity to increase their strength and effectiveness!
We are not born resilient, we become resilient, and this is possible only through experience. Finding a new balance from difficulty is useful and necessary, especially in a time, a complex and volatile society, characterized by uncertainty like ours today, it will be even more necessary to prosper from the difficult situation, finding a new homeostasis in a point of equilibrium better than the previous one, that is, working not only on one’s own resilience, but on something that goes beyond: antifragility!