5 Tricks for Building Resilience
by Pete Doyle, LAC, MSOM, acupuncturist in the Live Well / Stay Well Program at Tournesol Wellness
Engineers define resilience as, “The property of a material to absorb energy when it is deformed elastically and then, upon unloading to have this energy recovered.”
Sounds pretty cool being able to recycle energy! Clearly, most of us feel the drain on our personal resources. I love this definition, being the tangible being I am, but when it comes to life, other factors are at play. In resiliency, which is defined psychologically as an individual’s ability to properly adapt to stress and adversity, Dr. Brene Brown, in her ground-breaking book, The Gifts of Imperfection, lists five of the most common factors of resilient people.
- They are resourceful and have good problem solving skills.
- They are more likely to seek help.
- They hold the belief that they can do something that will help them manage their feelings and to cope.
- They have social support available to them.
- They are connected to others, such as family or friends.
Dr. Brown believes the ”foundation of protective factors” is due to our rootedness in spirituality. In my experience, spirituality equals connection. Practice these five habits to start building resilience today:
- Stop and breathe. Hit the pause button at least 15 minutes each day. Count breaths and know the lists and daily requirements will still be there, but when calm, there’s a better chance they’ll get accomplished.
- Look around. What is interesting right here, right now? What is funny, incredible, inspiring, loving, and just plain human? Ask because sometimes the simplicity of what is already here will amaze you.
- Get active. What feeds your body? Maybe a great yoga class, swimming, hiking, or qigong. Build that creative and alive space we all have by getting the blood flowing. When our heart is pumping we are building spirit and strength.
- Be kind. The connections we make right now, (with ourselves, our spouses, the stranger, a dog, or cat), feed us later. Think ripples spreading from that pebble we placed in unknown expanse of water.
- Go deeper. All of the strategies here come down to the same thing: Connection! What are you feeling? What sort of mindfulness can you invite in? Gentleness can be a great conduit to that calm, thoughtful, centered place from where we can act so effectively. Each moment is another chance to invite connections, to witness, or give witnessing.
Remember the measure of a person is not taken when everything is going well, but rather how the person functions in the face of adversity. Next time the Universe doesn’t seem to be playing according to your plans, welcome the struggles for the opportunity to make the best of things, not knowing how they will work out. Building the trust and confidence muscle doesn’t happen if there are no barriers. It happens in spite of the barriers.