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Inner Resilience to Manage Stress

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

The most common definition for resilience is “Resilience is the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Being resilient does not mean that people don’t experience stress, emotional upheaval, and suffering. Some people equate resilience with mental toughness, but demonstrating resilience includes working through emotional pain and suffering.”

Resilience is looked up as something positive and as a sign of power from the individual. However, resilience is not the only indicator that a person has become strong after a traumatic experience or something hurtful.

People who possess this quality don't see life through rose-colored lenses; they understand that setbacks happen and that sometimes, life is hard and painful. They still experience the negative emotions that come after a tragedy, but their mental outlook allows them to work through these feelings and recover.

Emotional resilience

Emotionally resilient people are in tune with their feelings and emotions, and can easily understand why they are feeling the way they do. Emotional intelligence can provide a significant advantage for mastering our emotions.

How does one demonstrate resilience ?

Author and resilience expert Glenn Schiraldi (2017) provides even more examples and characteristics of resilient people, listing strengths, traits, and coping mechanisms that are highly correlated with resilience:

  1. Sense of autonomy (having appropriate separation or independence from family dysfunction; being self-sufficient; being determined to be different—perhaps leaving an abusive home; being self-protecting; having goals to build a better life)

  2. Calm under pressure

  3. Rational thought process

  4. Self-esteem

  5. Optimism

  6. Happiness and emotional intelligence

  7. Meaning and purpose (believing your life matters)

  8. Humor

  9. Altruism (learned helplessness), love, and compassion

Physical Resilience:

Physical resilience refers to the body's ability to adapt to challenges, maintain stamina and strength, and recover quickly and efficiently. It's a person's ability to function and recover when faced with illness, accidents, or other physical demands.

  1. Go for a walk or exercise outside during the day. Time in natural daylight boosts your melatonin levels, making it easier to naturally fall asleep.

  2. Have a relaxing lavender bath or spray your pillow with lavender.

  3. Try not to keep TV’s, tablets or phones in your bedroom in the evening. The unnatural blue light disrupts melatonin production and keeps you awake.

  4. Practice this routine at bedtime; breathe in for a 4-count, hold your breath for a 4-count and breathe out your stress for a 4-count.

Having balance in the resiliency of your physical, emotional, spiritual and mental states enables you to maintain your effectiveness as a person. Start by practicing some of the common characteristics of resilient people and focusing on your existing strengths. Don't get discouraged; becoming more resilient may take time, but the investment will have big payoffs on your health and well-being.

What have YOU done lately to nourish your physical or emotional resilience?

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