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David Baxter

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Ten Tips For Building Resiliency
By Dr. Deborah Serani
Sat, Sep 22 2007

Resiliency is the ability to spring back from and successfully adapt to adversity. Resilient people are often flexible in their thinking, endure difficulty with a realistic outlook and use the experience in self- empowering ways.

Experts are not all in ageement about how much of resilience is genetic. So the thought is that resilience can be learned.

Below is the American Psychological Association list of how to build resiliency (from The Road to Resilience).

1. Make Connections. Good relationships with close family members, friends or others are important. Accepting help and support from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens resilience. Some people find that being active in civic groups, faith-based organizations or other local groups provides social support and can help with reclaiming hope. Assisting others in their time of need also can benefit the helper.

2. Avoid Seeing Crises as Insurmountable Problems. You can't change the fact that highly stressful events happen, but you can change how you interpret and respond to these events. Try looking beyond the present to how future circumstances may be a little better. Note any subtle ways in which you might already feel somewhat better as you deal with difficult situations.

3. Accept That Change Is a Part of Living. Certain goals may no longer be attainable as a result of adverse situations. Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter.

4. Move Toward Your Goals. Develop some realistic goals. Do something regularly ? even if it seems like a small accomplishment ? that enables you to move toward your goals. Instead of focusing on tasks that seem unachievable, ask yourself, "What's one thing I know I can accomplish today that helps me move in the direction I want to go?"

5. Take Decisive Actions. Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive actions, rather than detaching completely from problems and stresses and wishing they would just go away.

6. Look for Opportunities for Self-Discovery. People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of their struggle with loss. Many people who have experienced tragedies and hardship have reported better relationships, a greater sense of personal strength even while feeling vulnerable, an increased sense of self-worth, a more developed spirituality and a heightened appreciation for life.

7. Nurture a Positive View of Yourself. Developing confidence in your ability to solve problems and trusting your instincts helps build resilience.

8. Keep Things in Perspective. Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Avoid blowing the event out of proportion.

9. Maintain a Hopeful Outlook. An optimistic outlook enables you to expect that good things will happen in your life. Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear.

10. Take Care of Yourself. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly. Taking care of yourself helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with situations that require resilience.


How is your resiliency? Take the Resiliency Quiz.
 

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ladylore

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Not that I haven't fall into the trap of feeling sorry for myself from time to time, because I have - but I have been told by my therapist and a few others throughout my life that I just don't know the meaning of 'giving up'. And really I don't.

During my 'good' days and times in my life my motto has been, "There has got to be a way". And I usually find it. Looking back I have also taken my depressions as a time of licking my wounds, reflecting and weighing my options. If I really don't know what to do, I have just stayed still until I knew what to do. I am glad I have done something about the depression, addictions and I don't wish for them to come back. But I have grown quite a bit despite of them.

I have been told I am very resilient, and I am. I do the work, keep my eyes wide open, do the best I can with what is given to me, and as soon as I catch it, I stop the negative self-talk that goes on in my head, because that negative talk is what will get me these days.

Thanks for the post.
 
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you have a fighting spirit ladylore. you have everything to be proud of. i'm rather in awe of you :)

i think this is an article i need to print and read often as i'm still not where i need to be in terms of resilience.
 

braveheart

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I actually did better than part of me expected. :)

I have a love-hate relationship with the concept of 'resilience', having been told I was resilient at school, re all the bullying I endured. Actually I was dissociated and numbed to it....

But, yes, my response to the quiz was indicative of the good, hard work I am doing in therapy.
 

ladylore

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you have a fighting spirit ladylore. you have everything to be proud of. i'm rather in awe of you

Thank Ladybug, but you know - it comes and it goes. And when the fear comes on it feels that the resilience part in me heads for the hills. :)

But, yes, my response to the quiz was indicative of the good, hard work I am doing in therapy.

You work extremely hard Braveheart

I have a love-hate relationship with the concept of 'resilience', having been told I was resilient at school, re all the bullying I endured. Actually I was dissociated and numbed to it....

I can relate to the love-hate part. I have always, as far back as can remember how strong I was and that nothing seemed to faze me. One person went so far to tell me later on that, that is why I was treated so badly was because they knew I could take it and I had a chance to make it in the world. What kind of thinking is that.
 

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