It’s inspiring to watch friends be resilient while handling really difficult situations. Lately there’s been a lot to notice. A BFF has been terribly sick with a difficult recovery that she’s handling with grace. Another friend’s son Oded, surviving thankfully, but it’s not the first time. Yet another is worried about her daughter’s stability. They are all resilient.
What does it mean to be resilient, and how do you get it? Having emotional stability to keep your head up and respond to distress rationally and practically is resilience. It’s a skill set we can all develop.
Here are some thoughts on ways to enhance your resilience.
STAY PRESENT – OBSERVE
When bad things happen, staying present and grounded is important. Being in your body, not in your head with terrifying thoughts or runaway feelings takes practice. It means being aware of what is happening, paying attention, watching and listening to fully understand what is occurring. It means being still.
Some basic skills for getting grounded are breathing exercises and mindfulness. Simply breathing, 4 counts in, rest, 4 counts out, can bring you back into your body. Mindfully being in the moment can be as simple as taking in and observing everything around you. Making contact with nature and watching it’s patterns can help you be more present. These skills help you stay in your body and relax.
LET THE EMOTION FLOW THROUGH
There are many ways of handling emotion – from high dramatic expression to blocking it completly. The one that is most effective and gives you the best sense of control in the moment is being still and letting it flow through you. It may hurt, but it won’t hurt you.
People who ignore their emotions or who overreact often end up feeling out of control and overwrought by their experience. To be more in control, observe it, feel the emotion and let it run its course and talk it thought.
HAVE FAITH – FIND THE BIG PICTURE
When things are bad, and you feel desperate, turning to faith, whatever that means to you, comes naturally. We all hope or pray for the best. Rather than worrying and focusing on every terrible detail, it helps to rise above.
There is always a bigger picture perspective – the view that helps you understand that whatever happens, you will be ok. When you turn your will, anxiety and fear over to this higher order outlook, you calm anxiety and fear, bringing comfort and peace. Look for it.
IF THIS DOESN’T WORK – GET SUPPORT
For many people being resilient comes from the experience of handling things and learning that when bad things happen, it’s not the end of the world. They move on, there is a silver lining, they learn and grow. That is certainly my experience with traumatic events.
But many people get stuck in the feeling experience and find that they reexperience the scared, angry or unstable traumatic feelings over and over again. The good news is that there are wonderful therapy techniques that help resolve this. I use one with my clients that is called EMDR. It helps people reprocess their trauma, so they don’t keep reliving it. I have seen amazing, very effective resolution for many people. I highly recommend it.
How do you respond to difficult events? Are you able to stay present and observe what is happening without overreacting? Can you let the feelings of fear or pain wash through you? Do you rise above and find the silver lining in the difficult? Then good for you! If not, there is help to get you there.
If you would like to learn more about how to be more resilient or resolve trauma, reach out. My Transformational Coaching and Therapy includes this skill set. Go to www.spectrumtransformation.com and use my Free consultation link. I can help.