Building Our Personal Resilience
Whether in everyday situations or life-altering circumstances, resilience allows us not just to endure but to prosper and thrive. Here is an image that demonstrates what resilience brings: Bamboo is a tough, durable plant, some would even say invasive. Once seeded over a period of several years, bamboo grows relentlessly and quickly, withstanding storms and other forces of nature. How is this possible? While tough, bamboo is also flexible, allowing it to bend and move with potentially traumatic forces, rather than resisting by being rigid, which would inevitably lead to the breaking of its long stalks. We too can develop a tough flexibility, built in our core, and allowing us to move forward without holding rigidly to ideas and actions that no longer support our growth.
To build our resilience, here are some suggestions, adapted from the American Psychological Association’s list of tips.
- Relationships matter. Look to others for help and support. We often expect ourselves not to ask for help, but when asked, those around us want to help. Swallow your pride and consider it a badge of courage to ask. (And reciprocate when you have the opportunity to do so!)
- “The only thing that does not change is change itself,” says Leo Veness. Understanding that change is inevitable and that outcomes will never look like an idealized mental version builds flexibility and allows focus on the parts that truly matter.
- Remember perspective. Today’s catastrophe may seem small as compared with other events. Remember to zoom out mentally to understand what is really important and to focus on what really
- Take care of yourself. Practice those habits that matter—sleep is fundamental to health, as is exercise, better nutrition, and play.
What tips have you used to build resilience? Tell us about how you practice personal resilience and about a time when you’ve had to be tough and flexible at the same time. We would enjoy reading your comments!