Saturday, December 11, 2010

Life Enhancing Resilience

Resilience is the positive ability to bounce back, to adapt and cope well with adversity, threats, family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or other stressful events. It is typically characterised by patterns of positive adaptation to negative situations.

Research in Positive Psychology has shown there are a number of life enhancing strategies that can help build resilience, toughness and psychological strength.

Not surprisingly, since the mind and body are intrinsically linked, it has been shown that building physical toughness and resilience increases psychological and emotional resilience and strength. Even taking a cold shower, or swimming in cold water has been shown to increase mental toughness. So make sure you exercise and increase your level of physical strength and fitness.

Close relationships with family and friends can help create and support resilience. Loving, nurturing relationships help buffer against stress and can assist in overcoming adversity.

Optimism and hope also increase resilience. Seeing problems as opportunities for self discovery and personal development can really make a difference. Focusing on your strengths and values has been shown to strengthen resilience. So continue to set and achieve realistic outcomes and goals that utilise your key strengths.

One of the most powerful tools however for building resilience is the use of engagement and flow. Regularly involve yourself in activities that generate flow. For me reading, running, skiing, kayaking, motor-bike riding, hiking are all life enhancing activities that engender a state of flow. For you, the activities may be very different. The key is to find and then regularly practice activities that put you into deep states of flow. This will build psychological and emotional capital and help you overcome life’s challenges.

Remember, the more you practice these life enhancing resilience strategies, the stronger and more resilient you will become and the more able you’ll be to overcome any challenges in your life.

Life enhancing wishes

1 comment:

  1. Grant, you've done it again--another VERY important post! I've had a lot of "opportunities" for resilience in my life, and I know what you're saying is true. Haven't really tried the physical toughness, though. Must work on that one!


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