Almost exactly 6 months ago, I was finally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. The past few months have been a roller coaster of emotions, therapy, and medication. I’ve been learning how to stabilize my mental state and find some resemblance of normality in the insanity that is my life.
Throughout these months, the ideal of building resilience has kept me going. Today, I’m going to tell you why resilience is a necessity for living an intentional life.
Resilience teaches you how to live well
Stress can be a damaging emotion. Vulnerability to chronic, high stress levels ruins your health. I’ve learned this the hard way. Just trust me on this one.
Stress impacts sleep, energy, eating habits, and social life. (Turns out, your social life is essential to be a functioning human being.)
In fact, science shows that Resilience and positive emotions go hand-in-hand for a gratifying life.
What Does it Mean to be Resilient?
Resilience looks like deep breaths and crying. It’s facing challenges head on and not fearing failure. Resilience is processing emotions and experiences and learning from them. Trauma changes your brain chemistry. Moving forward from traumatic events and not moving backward builds resilience.
Resilience and adaptation go hand-in-hand.
Adaptation is key to becoming a functioning human being. We have to be able to adapt to whatever life throws at us. When we excel at adaptation, we build resilience.
Being flexible helps you adapt to new situations.
Trauma Responses Vary Among Humans
Trauma Responses Vary Among Humans
- PTSD symptom documentation dates back to BC. But it wasn’t a diagnosable condition until the 1980s!
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): trauma happens to you and your body responds with symptoms like nightmares, anxiety, and more.
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Binge Eating Disorder
- Anxiety Disorders
- Panic Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Attachment Disorder
- Attachment theory is the idea that humans form different kinds of attachments because of their infancy.
- Other Personality Disorders
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Thankfully, Hope Breeds Resilience
Believing in the future energizes you to keep moving forward. Sometimes, hope is the only thing you can rely on.
There is No One-Size-Fits-All Coping Mechanism
People find this difficult to understand.
Different coping mechanisms work differently with different people because people are unique! We each have been shaped by various circumstances.
People Cope with Trauma in Different Ways
Some people turn to substances
Other people turn to isolation
And others turn to therapy
Resilience comes in all shapes and sizes
Because trauma and people come in many shapes and sizes. Countless factors impact what traumatizes people and how they recover.
Resilience grows through the rebuilding of our communities, lives, emotions, and physical bodies. This will give us the tools and community we need to rebuild ourselves again after any future traumatic event.
“One of the most important ways to foster resilience is to promote healthy family and community environments that allow the individual’s natural protective systems to develop and operate effectively.”– Resilience Definitions, Theory, and Challenges: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Tips for promoting resilience
Writing or drawing your experiences is a thorough way to process what you’re going through. It teaches you how you respond to situations. Your response is the only thing you can control in stressful environments.
Opening up to people about your experiences is incredible for overcoming anything.
Therapy Strengthens Resilience
There is a type of therapy that can help you with any situation. I’ve become a huge therapy promoter lately because professional help is valuable when you’re going through stuff.
Therapy can be expensive, but many therapists offer sliding scale payment options. Some offices also have interns or they know other counselors who would be cheaper and a good fit for you.
Moving your body is an incredible way to help you overcome anything.
Building healthy coping skills
As someone who has far too many unhealthy coping skills, I know how important it is to cultivate healthy ones. A few ideas are: reading, taking up a new hobby, cooking, knitting, meeting friends for coffee.
Taking Action to Build Resilience
Inactivity obstructs resilience. Achieving a gratifying life requires action. When you are lethargic and live in your life’s passenger seat, you lose control. You are the only person who controls your life.
Emotions Role in Our Lives
Emotions are effective tools we humans have. They tell us what’s going on inside of us and how to approach a situation. Sometimes our emotions become impaired from trauma, that’s when we need to turn to others to help us. Opening up to someone you trust is an excellent way to heal from whatever you’re going through.
Articles and Studies I Recommend to Learn More About Resilience:
- Resilience definitions, theory, and challenges: interdisciplinary perspectives – NCBI
- Happiness Unpacked: Positive Emotions Increase Life Satisfaction by Building Resilience – NCBI
- The Psychology of Resilience – The Brunswick Group
- The Road to Resilience – American Psychological Association
Resilience is important for life. That’s it. That’s the gist of this post. Facing challenges head on helps you become resilient and persevere through anything.
Remember to be resilient today!