Resilience is the ability to bounce back, to triumph over adversity, stress, challenges. To rebound after having been stretched mentally, physically, emotionally and to recover your strength, spirit and good humour.
It’s a given that we will all experience adversity, stress and challenges during our lifetime; how we respond to them determines the outcome. And the strength of our resilience helps to determine how we respond.
Why is Resilience Important?
Firstly, for those of us who are serving people at the end of their physical life, working with dying and death, resilience becomes critically important to avoid burnout or desensitisation. We need the ability to re-balance and find our centre again so that we can continue to stay positive and not dwell on the challenging moments.
Benefits of Healthy Resilience
Aside from this, there are numerous benefits that have been attributed to healthy resilience. Some of these are:
- Healthier heart function
- Able to deal with life’s challenges with more ease and grace
- Greater clarity and ability to focus
- Improved quality and quantity of sleep
- Stronger immune function
- Feeling happier
- Greater satisfaction with life
On the flip side, one of the results from a lack of resilience can be that we don’t cope well with stressful situations. This can further lead to depression and anxiety.
According to the Black Dog Institute, one in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year. The most common mental illnesses are depressive, anxiety and substance use disorder. Almost half (45%) of all Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
Read that last line again…Almost half (45%) of all Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
I am one of those 45%. And I know without a shadow of a doubt that the work I have done on myself, strengthening my own resilience and utilising tools and techniques when I am struggling are what helps me avoid the darkest of days/months/years like I used to know. I still experience times that are challenging, but they don’t last as long and often aren’t as deep/dark as what they used to be.
Even if your resilience hasn’t been as strong as you’d like to now, it’s something that you can work on to improve.
Three Tips for Strengthening Resilience
There are a whole host of strategies for strengthening your resilience, more of which I cover in my Resilience training, but these are my top three tips for strengthening my resilience:
- Self-Care – If I don’t make myself a priority, why would anyone else? I absolutely have to make me a priority. And sometimes, that includes firmly saying No and not justifying those No’s. Make a commitment to nurture and honour yourself – even if it is a cuppa in peace and quiet.
- Meditation – There is a great deal of scientific research confirming the benefits of meditation that many cultures have been espousing for millennia. Some of these are reducing stress, increasing self-awareness, helping to sleep better and reducing anxiety. I use a variety of types and lengths of meditations depending on what I am needing.
- My Tribe – Research has shown that positive social relationships significantly protect health and well-being, along with lengthening our life span. I have the most spectacular people that I get to call friends who I know are 100% there for me when the going gets tough. It’s not a large group as I am very selective about who I trust enough to see me at my most raw and vulnerable.
Further to this, research has shown that resilient individuals not only cultivate positive emotions in themselves, but they are also skilled at bringing out positive emotions in others, which creates a supportive social network to aid in the coping process. I know those in my inner circle have been through the mill and in themselves are resilient.
Fortunately, it doesn’t matter what your resilience has been like to this point in time. It’s one of those things that, if it hasn’t been one of your strengths, you can change that, starting right now. It does need some work and ongoing maintenance, like self-care, but you can build and strengthen your resilience and it’s not rocket
There’s a whole host of strategies, tools and techniques that I teach in my Resilience Training. These are the tried and true methods that I and others have used and most have scientific research backing them up.
If you want to know more, click here to find out what’s included and when the next trainings are being held.
This training can also be offered in your workplace or community. I’m more than happy to come to you.
Peace & blessings, Sharon