Bouncing back from Stress

There was a story I once heard about a court trial where the judge asked the convict his reasons for committing the crime. His reply was, “My father was a criminal and that’s all I learned to do; so what do you expect?” Subsequently, his twin brother was questioned, who was a successful professional in a large company, a good family man who was happily married. When asked why he turned out the way he did, he replied, “ well, my father was a convict and I learned what not to do from him, so what do you expect?”

Our beliefs govern our choices and make us who we are.

As we look back on our lives at all those times of challenge and tribulation, I’m sure we marvel at the fact that no matter how tough it was, we survived it all…. how did we do it?
As some wise men have said, “resilient people don’t walk between the raindrops, they have scars to show for their experience.” These people have struggled but kept functioning anyway. So resilience is not the ability to escape unharmed, it is not about magic, it is about tenacity.
Dean M. Becker, the founder of a resilience-training firm, says, “More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails. That’s true in the cancer ward, its true in the Olympics and its true in the boardroom.”

As a definition we can say, resilience is the capacity for a person to maintain their worth despite the garbage in their lives, the powerful influence of a traumatic childhood or abusive parents. To the degree that it is learned, resilience seems to develop out of the challenge to maintain self-esteem. Troubled families make their kids feel powerless and bad about themselves but I want to emphasize that however insurmountable it may seem, it is possible to be hurt and to re-bound at the same time! We humans are complex enough to accommodate the two! Resilience can be cultivated by strengthening your inner sense of self, by defining yourself as capable and competent and by fortifying yourself against doubt and self-punishment.

Resilient people are survivors. They cultivate the mental habit of asking themselves penetrating questions and giving honest answers in order to stretch themselves. And the important thing is that they are not afraid to talk about their hard times to someone who cares to listen, be it a friend, spouse or a parent.

The first step that a resilient person takes is to stop blaming themselves for what has gone wrong. They externalize blame and internalize success and take responsibility for what goes right in their lives. They re-examine their life story to see how heroically they survived as a child, finding strength and building their self-worth from that achievement. They do not let adversity define them, they find resilience by moving towards a goal… a goal that is larger than themselves; transcending grief by recognizing bad times as a temporary state of affairs.

Reframing is at the heart of resilience _ a way of shifting focus from a cup half empty to a cup half full. So it is worth cultivating and I suggest you use these lines:
·   I have _ strong relationships, internal and external support.
·   I have faith and am proud of my inner strengths.
·   I can communicate, solve problems with insight and seek out the good in my relationships
·   I can improvise and accept my reality.   

Resilience is an art…. The ultimate art of living!