According to Webster’s Dictionary, Resilience is the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Resilience helps you overcome negative experiences, stress, emotional upheaval, and suffering. Demonstrating resilience includes working through emotional pain and suffering. Some people equate resilience with mental toughness. So how do you do that?
When you break down the word, it is “re”+”silence”. The return to the silence within your mind gives you time to think and feel the situation and then reframe it. When dealing with a negative experience in life, perhaps a divorce or loss of a friend or loved one due to a breakup or other circumstances. I choose to ask myself what this situation is trying to teach me. Then be quiet and listen. Some call this prayer; some call it meditation or mindfulness. Whatever you call it, it is about giving your inner truth time to acknowledge the situation, feel the feelings, and choose how you want to respond to it, and this, my friends, takes time. Maybe only a minute but still some time for you to sit in silence and contemplate the situation.
All too often, we react (re+act) without thought and then regret the response or action from that immediate reaction. Our fight or flight instinct in our human nature protects and keeps us from danger. In most cases in today’s world, take a pause, take a breath; give yourself time to think about the situation, in silence or just by focusing on the breath. You will nearly always come up with a more positive response to any situation. It may only be for a minute or more if you have the time, but breathe and give yourself time.
So to foster resilience in your life, learn techniques that work for you to remind you to pause, breathe and reexamine any situation. You can consciously choose how you respond and feel in that circumstance.
A technique I use to help people to live their Passions is called the Natures Guidance System.
Natures Guidance System
1. Notice how you feel (catch yourself in the moment)
2. Breathe (pause, prayer, meditation)
3. Ask to be open (What is in this for me to learn?)
4. Go into the feeling (allow yourself to feel it)
5. Feel the sensation (honor it, we need to feel our feelings rather than bury them)
6. Use the tools to shift (Mental, Emotional, Physical, Spiritual practices that work for you)
7. Communicate clearly (how you feel and why?)
Resilience is important because it gives people the strength needed to process and overcome hardship; to persevere in this life. My brother had a saying he shared with his children, “Endeavor to Persevere”.
Resilient people tap into their strengths and support systems to overcome challenges and work through problems. Those lacking resilience get easily overwhelmed and may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Burying those feelings can turn into physical illness. You are never alone; remember to ask for help to build your resilience!