Resilience – What makes the human spirit resilient? What makes us get up when we are knocked down? Resilience can be learned and built upon each day to make us stronger and more capable of coping with trauma and problems.
How resilient are you? Can you take on the challenges of life when they come or do you feel overwhelmed and collapse at the first sign of difficulty? What makes communities who have been devastated by natural forces, pull together and rebuild? The good news is that we can learn resilience and build upon it in everyday life.
Life will never run smoothly so in order to Thrive we need to build Resilience to be able to cope with the more difficult times in life.
I’ve recently taken a course “Professional Resilience” provided by FutureLearn and Deakin University. Whilst some of the discussion was based around careers, the course could also be relevant to everyday life and I would like to share some of my main learnings you in this post.
What is Resilience?
- the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
- the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity
The above two definitions are the more common thoughts about how we view the term ‘resilience’, however studies have shown that being resilient is more complex. There are many views on what resilience is:
- Resilience is not a permanent state. We can learn resilience and it is a process we work towards
- Resilience requires supportive relationships and not just relying on our individual efforts
- Resilience is about being able to ‘bounce back’ after difficult times.
- Resilience is also about the ability to problem solve and find creative solutions during the good times
- Resilience is about being open, flexible and the ability to adapt. If we can learn to respond positively to everyday situations we are more likely to be able to handle larger problems more effectively.
Self-care practices to build Resilience
Being mindful on a daily basis helps us to take care of ourselves during the ‘busyness’ of each day. It is about being in the present moment but not necessarily trying to achieve an empty mind.
Having a bad day? Incorporating Spot Meditations into your day will reduce anxiety and stress. Spot Meditations can be done anywhere at anytime during the day and they are just a few seconds or minutes rather than a 20 minutes Meditation.
Most of us don’t get enough sleep or the sleep we have is not quality. Professor Matthew Walker is a leading neuroscientist and ‘sleep expert’. He suggests that we are experiencing a ‘catastrophic global sleep epidemic’ with ‘many people walking through life in an under-slept state without realising it’.
Sleep is a vital part of keeping healthy but is also essential for learning and emotional well-being. Sleep is the time when our bodies and minds can regenerate.
Listen in order to communicate
Most of us would automatically think that communication is verbal, however listening and the way we listen is also important. Equally important is to listen whilst speaking. That means becoming aware of the body language of the person(s) you are talking to. Because part of becoming resilient relies on social interaction and receiving support of friends during times of stress, good communication which includes listening, is another area that helps in building resilience.
Create your Own Resilience Plan
During the course we were provided with a worksheet to create our own Resilience Plan. Starting with what our definition of resilience is, setting a short term goal to build our resilience, listing the support required and where we would find that support and finally building a resilience framework. I have included the link below if you would like to try to build your own Resilience plan.
Do you feel you are resilient? Will you create your own resilience plan?
This was a fascinating subject which I’ve only touched on in this post. However, here is the link if you would like to take the FREE online course. Please note: I have no affiliation with FutureLearn or Deakin University, I found the course interesting and informative and wanted to share my thoughts.
In my next post in the A to Z Guide to Thriving, I’m discussing ‘S’ is for Self Care, Self Respect and Self-Investment.I do hope you will join me.
You might also like to check out my Over 50 & Thriving series. In this series, published every Thursday, guest writers give insight into what ‘Over 50 & Thriving’ means to them.
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