In today’s complex and uncertain world, more than ever emotional resilience has become a crucial skill.The statistic says that while most people bounce back from adversity and go back to normal or even improvement, others walk around with triggerable emotional scars and 8 % wind up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Having gone through a full set of traumatic events throughout my life, starting with my mother jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge when I was a teen, people have often asked me how I navigated the storms and kept my tenacity of spirit.
The key is in understanding that you can be both anxious and resilient simultaneously. Attempting to look for the positive when what feels like your life blowing up is next to impossible. Mindfulness can certainly help to slow down your racing mind, but here are a few other things to consider.
Understand what your emotional triggers are and double down on your self nurturing when they’re activated. A trick for this is to ask yourself in each moment “what do I need right now?” and act on it. Listen selectively to those that tell you to never make changes in times of stress. Chances are your instincts are on red alert and probably very accurate; so follow your gut. Speaking of your gut, make sure to feed it well so it will loyally fuel your body and brain which are working like athletes for you, in times of high stress.
Find something, anything to laugh at. You probably don’t feel much like laughing when your life gets bowled over, but maybe one of your friends can help.
Victor Frankl in his famous book Man’s search for Meaning” (a Must Read about what it took to survive the concentration camps during the holocaust), said the first instinct the victims arriving at the concentration camps had when they were forced to strip down, was to laugh hysterically at the sheer absurdity of the situation. Sounds morbid in that context, but laughter is a survival instinct.
Keep up a solid social network at all times, you’ll rely on them when things turn upside down. Be sure to keep those well meaning souls on your radar when you bounce back to normal and be there for them. What comes around goes around in the social arena.
Stay active, keep moving. Whatever it is, will pass and what you act on today will set the wheels in motion for the next phase.
“Man never made anything as resilient as the human spirit.”
Invitation for development: Don’t wait until you’re in the thick of a storm to start developing resilience tools, start when the waters are calm. Check in with yourself to see if you have some reliable, self nurturing techniques that work for you. Evaluate your social network and spend time with people to deepen your relationships.