What exactly is resilience?
Resilience has become something of a buzzword in modern popular psychology and in the wellness conversation generally.
While there are many definitions, I believe it to be the ability – and willingness – to rally in the face of adversity. As I sat down to explore this, it occurred to me that resilience is that somewhat indefinable quality or habit that some people have of bouncing back; and this bouncing back is made easier by not recognising failure as fatal or the end result, but rather understanding that it is part of the journey.
Resilient people do not let adversity define them but make no mistake, they feel it. They feel it but do not allow themselves to be immobilised it.
While it is a habit or characteristic that we can all work on, and indeed one that we ought to work on improving throughout our lives, in my experience, true resilience is quite innate to some people. These are the people who can take the blows that life will inevitably level and recover. The speed and extent of the recovery is the only measure of resilience that I know of.
Certainly, there are some common traits that lend themselves inherently to a character we might consider to be resilient, for example, a positive attitude and optimistic nature, other skills can be learned, such as, the ability to recognise, understand and manage emotions. One of the starting points is to cultivate resilience by being mindful of who you truly are, what you are truly capable of.
As a Reiki Master, writer and general wellness advocate – not to mention, eternal student – I have come to believe that ‘framing’ is one of the most powerful tools we have when it comes to cultivating resilience. Whether this is done by personal journaling, psychotherapy, hypnosis or other techniques aimed at introspection, the important thing is to look inwards. By re-examining your life story, it offers the opportunity to find the little moments of greatness that are often buried in the re-telling of a negative story over the course of our lives. By changing the narrative, we can instill positive self-esteem by virtue of overcoming an otherwise negative experience.
Of course, resilience can really only be known when it is tested. This test might take the shape of family or relationship issues, poor health, injury, financial or other stress-inducing event. And to be clear, this goes beyond a basic ability to cope; true resilience is a measure beyond surviving and goes to the heart of a person’s commitment and desire to thrive after a setback.
Here are a few simple reminders to keep you on track:
- Accept that you are perfectly imperfect, or as we like to say, ‘human’!
- Accept where you are now and resolve to make it better; denial delays
- Ask for help, be willing to accept the help that is offered but remember that your life is your responsibility, always
- Breaks big goals into small tasks, this way, it will be easier to see setback for exactly what they are, temporary
- Take time to process, resilience is about bouncing back but after you have had time to feel, reflect and learn from the experience
How can Reiki help?
In the midst of challenging times, our thinking can become less clear and our inner voice more critical – and constant, leaving many people feeling drained and more vulnerable to despair. Understanding the importance of personal healing, Reiki facilitates a gentle space for inward reflection, leading to greater clarity of thought.