All of us are subject to trauma, adversity, and other stressors. Here are some tips to help you adapt to life’s changes and emerge stronger than ever before.
Imagine that you are going on a rafting trip down a river. Your map will show that there are unavoidable rapids or turns, as well as slow water and shallows. How can you ensure you are able to safely cross rough waters and deal with any unexpected challenges?
You might consider asking for the help of experienced rafters to plan your route or perhaps relying on the company of trusted friends. You might consider bringing an extra life jacket, or a stronger raft. One thing is certain: With the right tools and support, you will be able to overcome the river’s challenges. You will be a stronger and more courageous rafter.
Although life may not be mapped out, everyone will encounter twists and turns. These include everyday challenges, life-altering accidents, serious illnesses, and the death of a loved one. Every change brings with it a unique set of emotions, thoughts, and uncertainty. People adapt to stressful situations and life-changing changes easily, partly because they have resilience.
Psychologists define resilience to be the ability to adapt well in the face of trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress (such as serious health issues, family problems, financial problems, or work-related stressors) Resilience can be described as “bouncing back” after these painful experiences. However, it can also include profound personal growth.
These adverse events are like rough river water. However, they don’t have to dictate the outcome of your entire life. You have many things you can do to control, modify and grow in your life. This is the power of resilience. Being resilient helps you not only get through tough situations but also allows you to grow and improve your life.
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What is resilience?
Resilience does not mean that one will never experience distress or difficulty. People who have experienced trauma or major adversity in their lives often experience emotional pain and stress. The road to resilience will likely involve significant emotional distress.
Although certain traits may make someone more resilient than others depending on their environment, resilience is not a trait that can be attributed to only a few people. Resilience is a combination of thoughts, behaviors, and actions that can be learned and developed by anyone. Research has proven that resilience is not an exceptional trait. The response of many Americans and the efforts of individuals to rebuild their lives following the September 11th terrorist attacks is just one example.
Building your resilience takes effort and time. You can overcome and learn from trauma and difficult situations by focusing on four core components: connection, wellness, healthy thinking, meaning. These strategies will help you increase your resilience to the storms and grow from them.
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