How Resilience Can Help Manage Stress and Relieve Anxiety.
Updated: Sep 24, 2020
What is Resilience?
A simple definition of resilience is- the ability to recover quickly from difficulties.
The American Psychology Association defines mental resilience as "the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences."
Have you ever wondered why a person who had a traumatic or negative upbringing turns out seemingly well adjusted? Yet another person in that same family may be on drugs, have issues coping, and fitting in? They may also have trouble in school or with relationships. Either they never get it together or after going down some challenging roads- finally, turn out, ok?
I'm the one in my family that seemed to have it all together. But I didn't. I had problems focusing at school, emotional breakdowns (at all the wrong times). And had addictive tendencies- using spending and food as my drugs of choice.
If you follow Joyce Meyer, you know she and her brother had different lives.
I know other siblings where one has come out of their tragedy "still standing" and the other one not so much.
Why is that?
Some personality types have it more than others. Some people can tap into resilience and use it to overcome setbacks in life. For others, resilience is something that can be learned.
Why it's essential to develop more resilience in our lives.
According to Joshua Miles, "Resilience is important for several reasons; it enables us to develop mechanisms for protection against experiences which could be overwhelming, it helps us to maintain balance in our lives during difficult or stressful periods, and can also protect us from the development of some mental health difficulties and issues."
"Resilience is what gives people the psychological strength to cope with stress and hardship. It is the mental reservoir of strength that people can call on in times of need to carry them through without falling apart. Psychologists believe that resilient individuals are better able to handle such adversity and rebuild their lives after a catastrophe." - Amy Morin
Usually, when I'm teaching or writing on a subject, I get tested in it. At the time of this writing, Coronavirus is still with us, and many children are attending school from home. I've been helping my grandkids with their schoolwork.
I love my mornings. I spend time with the Lord and plan my day. Today, I rearranged my morning routine to start on what I needed to do before they came over.
However, my husband just informed me there is a Zoom meeting this morning for one of the children, and they won't be here until later- if at all.
I'm a planner. Plus, I don't like surprises. At first, I got frustrated that I rearranged my morning so I could help out. (I love my relaxing mornings).
Then all the things I have learned and teach surfaced in my mind to help me 'get over' and 'let go' of the frustration.
I took a deep breath, set some boundaries for going forward, and decided to 'drop it, leave it, and let it go'.
The old me, would fuss and fuss. Carry on and on. And make a big deal out of this situation. The inappropriate emotional response I describe above, was partly due to not making peace with my painful past. I carried hurts with me into my present- which put a hefty strain on my relationships.
That's one of the reasons I do what I do. I share what I've learned- and finally applied.
Practicing these simple techniques and doing what you need to do for you helps to keep you from going through the pain and poor health I went through because of not letting go, forgiving, etc.
Ok- back to our topic- resilience- which I just used to bounce back from that minor upset.
If you are lacking in your fair share of resilience, good news- it can be learned.
Developing resilience is a personal journey.
Everyone reacts differently to traumatic and stressful life events. What works for one person may or may not work for another. Resilient people try different strategies and stick to what works for them.
Resilience is built by taking a holistic (mind, body, and emotions) approach.
It's making tweaks and adjustments in the areas you struggle with the most- areas like nutrition, sleep, gratefulness, living in the moment, and setting boundaries … soon they'll become a new healthy habit.
Ready to Bounce Back?
Three Steps for Developing Resilience
Building resilience takes making a decision to do so. There are no quick fixes. No magic formulas. It starts with a thought—a decision.
A decision to do the "next right thing" consistently.
Instead of detaching from stressful situations and problems, we can decide (or choose) to do healthier actions (as I did in my story above).
Building resilience is making healthy choices every day.
Resting as needed
Being thankful for what we do have/for what's right in our life
Thinking on what is good and not the bad
Having fun as much as possible
Dreaming of (and planning for) a better future.
It's not the "I hope I get a pony for Christmas." Or "I hope the Tennessee Titans win the Super Bowl."
It's a God-kind of hope. "HOPE is the confident expectation that something GOOD is going to happen. It's closely related to our faith and what we believe. When we dare to HOPE, it floods our life with joy and peace." - Joyce Meyer
When I was at my lowest level with my health... I remember thinking that one day I was going to be better. I just knew it!
Even though my health didn't reflect it. I had this deep 'knowing'... I had HOPE that FUELED my healthy choices. Helped me do the 'next right thing', I needed to do to restore my health.
A HOPE that helped me say
No! To fast or processed foods.
No! To drinking a liter of Diet Mountain Dew a day.
No! To other poor choices that were affecting my health.
And YES❣️ to …
•Drinking more filtered water
•Eating lots of organic veggies
•Finding Smart Swaps for the unhealthy foods I wanted.
•Diligently maintaining healthy sleep habits
•Changing my negative...' woe is me, I'm a victim' mindset, to an "I can and I will" positive one.
And I did.
HOPE is what kept me going. HOPE for a better future.
And it has been a better future. I love my life. I wouldn't change the lessons I've learned through this process.
Again, that's why I share what I share in this blog, the free resources, products, and 1:1 coaching. I hope to share with you the what and why- the essentials regarding how to take your life back from stress.
3) Stay flexible
Resilience involves maintaining flexibility and balance in your life as you deal with stressful circumstances and traumatic events. This happens in several ways, including:
Letting yourself experience strong emotions appropriately.
Stepping forward and taking action to deal with situations to meet the demands of daily living.
Carving out time to rest and reenergize.
Spending time with loved ones to gain support and encouragement
Nurturing yourself and doing things you love.
Relying on others as needed
Relying on yourself.
Carpe Diem (make the most of the present time)
Here are some steps you can do -- right now to help (sos) you stress less.
Decide to learn and use simple techniques for handling stress and relieving anxiety.
Make peace with your past (or present) stressors. Forgive, let 'it' go, and move on with living your life.
Grow in hope for a better future.
Check out this free resource to help you get started.
Here's to your health!
Sometimes we need support to help us take our life & health back from stress.
My top two essential oils for reducing stress and relieving anxiety are lavendar and chamomile. Place a few drops in a carrier oil like grapeseed oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil and rub on your wrists, temples, or top of the chest.
Check out what's on sale at Plant Therapy (100% pure essential oils) by clicking on the picture below.
My favorite supplement duo is Pure Encapsulation's Pure Tranquility and Relora. You can order them here and receive an automatic 5% discount. Shipping is free for both products.
This post includes affiliate links to products I have personally used and/or recommend. At no extra cost to you, I may earn a small percentage so that I can keep my digital products and coaching services affordable. You can read the full disclosure here.
The information shared here is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as the sharing of information only. Legal Policies