Have you ever had a day, week or month when you felt you were being tested for endurance, patience and resilience? Do I need a Push? Recently I had a week that tested all three. Through the moments of frustration and doubt I thought about how to shift my thought process to feel a little happier about the circumstances facing me. I thought of the many persons who had suffered horrible illnesses or accidents and not only survived but found a way to thrive despite it all. There are examples all over the world throughout history and we can look to our own community for stories of inspiration.
You may know someone personally who once dealt with something terrible but has found joy again. In fact, researchers have found that resilience in the face of adversity is more common than uncommon. Was it The Push?
In life, sometimes we need a push and sometimes we give a push. Years ago I watched this video and to this day it inspires me. It makes me that much more resilient.
"Resilience is a measurement of one's capacity to recover fully from an adversity," says Charles Figley, PhD, director of the Tulane Traumatology Institute in New Orleans, where he studies traumatic stress resilience. “It’s like pressing a balloon tightly and examining how completely the balloon assumes its original position."
Psychologists say that resilience can be learned—it's not something we either have or don't have. So if times are tough right now, you can take steps to strengthen your resilience.
Even if you're not struggling at the moment, adopting these habits now can help you down the road when life throws you a curveball.
If you fall into a rough patch, you may not feel happy the next day, or even the next week. Eventually, with time, light will begin to peek back into your life. If you want to work on bouncing back, you must expect that good things will happen. If you're expecting only bad things to happen, how resilient can you be? Why push on? What's the difference?" Optimism is the single biggest factor in recovering from adversity. It's what makes some of us seek solutions to our troubles instead of pulling the covers over our heads.
There are many reasons why having a support system helps us get through tough times. Friends and loved ones can provide an invaluable distraction from our negative thoughts. When we're feeling isolated, they remind us that we're attached to a group—and that we're important to someone. They can provide a fresh perspective not being attached directly to the situation and offer objective solutions.
Humor dampens down our natural fight-or-flight reaction to negative events and lowers our stress hormones. It also shifts our perception of a difficult situation from an emergency to a less distressing issue, so we can calm down, look at it from different angles and cope with it better. When we laugh our brain releases natural chemicals that produce the feeling of happiness naturally and gives us a break from the stress of trying to figure it all out. It may even help in figuring out the best way to resolve the issue at hand.
Try reminding yourself of this when you're feeling low. Because it's true! Everything in life has a beginning and end. These endings may not be the best outcomes you can imagine, but they can bring some relief. When something bad is happening, it's like being in the middle of the ocean. When you're there, you think it just goes on forever, but it doesn't. I'm no believer that everything will turn out wonderful, but things can be better than they are now. If you need a little Push, ASK.
Feeling grateful—something we can actively work on—improves our overall wellbeing and helps us cope with our troubles. Research shows that people who created a list of five things they were grateful for over the past week felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about their expectations for the upcoming week than those who recorded hassles from the past week. Keeping a Gratitude Journal is a wonderful daily habit that can begin anytime at any age. It is a practice that pushes us towards a more resilient inspired lifestyle and we can be grateful that at the right moment we were given just the right Push to continue to flourish.
Original Article can be seen HERE