What does an inexplicable suicide, a child pornography conviction and the confession of a secret that was buried for 10 years have in common?
All three were revealed to me this week within a 3-hour time span. Though none of the issues were directly impacting me, they seriously affected me.
Has that ever happened to you? When an influx of horrendous news makes your heart heavy and your soul sad.
I went back and forth between being noisy and busy and trying to block out the information that was dropped on my lap, and being still and quite trying to absorb it.
Eventually, it gave me cause to reflect. Reflection is good.
I reflected on my own selfishness about things that I deemed important. I reflected on my own pettiness on problems that seemed crucial at the time. I reflected on my own self-absorbed issues that really don’t matter at all in the grand scheme of things. Ultimately, I reflected on my gratitude of things and people that I have been taking for granted.
As I tried to imagine what the families in these respective situations must be going through, I began to think it’s the psychological resilience (an individual’s ability to properly adapt to stress and adversity) that makes people overcome difficulties and not succumb to them.
Are you resilient? Am I? How do we know? How do we build upon the base of resilience that we already have?
Luckily, there is science behind developing resilience and there are some concrete things we can actively do to harness the power of resilience.
Some factors that promote resilience include:
- The ability to cope with stress effectively and in a healthy manner
- Having good problem-solving skills
- Seeking help
- Holding the belief that there is something one can do to manage feelings and to cope
- Having social support
- Being connected with others, such as family or friends
- Maintaining positive emotions
- Self-disclosure of the trauma to loved ones
- Having an identity as a survivor as opposed to a victim
- Helping others
- Finding positive meaning in the trauma
Know that these are teachable and learnable qualities that can insulate and protect us. Join me and work to develop them. Because we know it’s not a matter of, if crappy things happen to you, sorry to tell you, it’s just a matter of when.
Let’s be ready.