Why Study This Mantra...Resilience is something we ALL need. You will learn the factors, the patterns, the process, and the resources for developing resilience.
Resilience is two things. It's resisting being damaged by the traumas or destructive forces we sometimes face in life. It's also our ability to "bounce back" – to recover from those traumas or destructive forces.
We all need resilience, and we all currently sit at some baseline level. The relationship between resilience and well-being is a two-way street. Being highly resilient will make you happier, and higher well-being promotes stronger resilience.
Good news. There is a process and it can be improved. This month, you'll learn what resources you have and how you can develop more resilience.
Before you begin...
Before you start thes practices and challenges, take a moment to rate yourself on this mantra. Give yourself a score from 1-10 (10 being the highest).
Do this again at the end of a month of practices and challenges. How much have you grown?
Today's affirmation: "I am resilient."
Today, I will practice resilience.
When daily traumas or destructive forces come my way, I will resist being damaged by them. When recovering from them, I will recover quickly using decatastrophizing. I may even come back stronger than before, developing strength from my adversity.
Monthly Challenge: Strength From Others
Having some strong relationships in your life can make a big difference when it comes to resilience. This month, think about who these relationships are for you, whether or not they're serving you the way you need, and what you can do about it. You may use your journal for this.
Getting help is not only acceptable, it's essential. Think about who these relationships are or could be in your life. It could be family, friends, coworkers, or really anyone in your social network who could provide social, emotional, or even financial support. It can come from both work or non-work sources. It should be someone you can call on and expect support from in times of crisis.
Journal Prompt: Write down who this person(s) is/are.
How They're Serving You
Think about what kind of support you need vs. what kind you're getting. Is the support you can get from this person emotional support (e.g., listening and providing empathy) or instrumental support (e.g., tangible assistance aimed at solving a problem)? Is that what you need?
Journal Prompt: Write down which you're getting and which you need.
What You Can Do
Now think about how you can strengthen them and get more of what you need to be resilient. The most important thing is that you strengthen your mutual sense of trust, understanding, and care in the relationship.
Journal Prompt: Write down a few things you might do to strengthen the relationship. The list of things you could do might include:
- Being there for each other not just when things go wrong, but also when they go right
- Having hope for each other, especially when hope is needed
- Being active listeners
- Embracing each other's vulnerabilities
- Practicing empathy for each other, validating each other's feelings and encouraging each other
Finally, don't just say it, do it! Pick ONE thing from your list to focus on and be mindful of it when you're with your friend or loved one. If it makes sense, have a conversation with them about it. Go make your favorite people even closer and watch your resilience grow!
Remember the ABCDE method from your Hope month? It was a while ago, so feel free to go back and give yourself a refresher.
This month, let's build on that method. Enhance your disputation toolset using something called decatastrophizing. In short, put things in perspective.
Let's practice using a recent example. Think of a moment in the last month or so where you assumed the worst possible outcome came true, or where you may have exaggerated the importance of a problem. Put yourself back in that mindset. Now answer these questions:
- What are you worried about? State a clear prediction about what you fear will happen.
- How likely is it that your worry will come true? Give examples of past experiences, or other evidence, to support your answer. Has anything this bad ever happened to you before? How often?
- If your worry does come true, what's the WORST that could happen?
- If your worry does come true, what's MOST LIKELY to happen?
- If your worry does come true, how might you cope with it? How have you coped with it in the past? What resources, skills, or abilities could you use?
- If your worry does come true, what are the chances you'll be okay... in a week? ... in a month? ... in a year?
- Given the above answers, what positive & reassuring thing do you want to say to yourself? What would be the most reassuring?
Now put this to practice. As you go through your day, follow these steps.
- Step 1: Understand that catastrophizing is negative. While it might help motivate us to take action, it stops us from giving focus to the actual situation and responding appropriately
- Step 2: Recognize when you're catastrophizing – when you're assuming the worst case scenario will come true. Thoughts like:
- "If I fail this exam, I will never get the job I want."
- "If this relationship doesn’t work out, I will never find the right person."
- "If I admit I don’t know something at work, they will think I am useless and fire me."
- Step 3: Decatastrophize. Take the scenario through the questions provided. Do it in your head, or use your journal to write in your answers if needed.
- Adams, G., King, L., & King, D. (1996). Relationships of job and family involvement, family social support, and work-family conflict with job and life satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81, 411–420.
- Bonanno, G. A. (2004). Loss, trauma, and human resilience: Have we underestimated the human capacity to thrive after extremely aversive events? American Psychologist, 59, 20-28.
- Bonnano, G. A. (2005). Resilience in the face of potential trauma. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14, 135-138.
- Cohn, M. A, Fredrickson, B. L., Brown, S. L., Mikels, J. A, & Conway, A. M. (2009). Happiness unpacked: Positive emotions increase life satisfaction by building resilience. Emotion (Washington, D.C.), 9, 361–8.
- Connor, K. M., & Davidson, J. R. T. (2003). Development of a new resilience scale: The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). Depression and Anxiety, 18, 76–82.
- Crane, M. F., & Searle, B. J. (2016). Building resilience through exposure to stressors: The effects of challenges versus hindrances. Journal of Occupational Healthy Psychology , 21, 468–479.
- Cutter, S., Barnes, L., Berry, M., Burton, C., Evans, E., Tate, E., & Webb, J. (2008). A place-based model for understanding community resilience to natural disasters. Global Environmental Change, 18, 598-606.
- Davydov, D. M., Stewart, R., Ritchie, K., & Chaudieu, I. (2010). Resilience and mental health. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 479-495.
- Duckworth, A. (2016). Grit: The power of passion and perseverance. New York: Scribner.
- Gillham, J., Reivich, K., Jaycox, L., & Seligman, M. E. P. (1995). Prevention of depressive symptoms in schoolchildren: Two-year follow-up. Psychological Science, 6, 343-351.
- Goldstein, B. (2008). Skunkworks in the embers of the cedar fire: Enhancing resilience in the aftermath of disaster. Human Ecology, 36, 15-28.
- Gross, J. J. (2015). Emotion regulation: Current status and future prospects. Psychological Inquiry, 26, 1–26.
- Isen, A., Daubman, K., Nowicki, G. (1987). Positive affect facilitates creative problem solving. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 1122-1131.
- Liu, Y., Wang, Z., Zhou, C., & Li, T. (2014). Affect and self-esteem as mediators between trait resilience and psychological adjustment. Personality and Individual Differences, 66, 92-97.
- Loh, J. M. I., Schutte, N. S., & Thorsteinsson, E. B. (2014). Be happy: The role of resilience between characteristic affect and symptoms of depression. Journal of Happiness Studies, 15, 1125–1138.
- Luthans, F., Avolio, B., Avey, J., & Norman, S. (2007). Positive psychological capital: Measurement and relationship with performance and satisfaction. Personnel Psychology, 60, 541-572.
- Luthar, S. S., Cicchetti, D., & Becker, B. (2000). The construct of resilience: A critical evaluation and guidelines for future work. Child Development, 71, 543-562.
- Masten, A. (2001). Ordinary magic. American Psychologist, 56, 227-238.
- Masten, A. (2007). Resilience in developing systems: Progress and promise as the fourth wave rises. Development and Psychopathology, 19, 921-930.
- Masten, A., Best, K., & Garmezy, N. (1990). Resilience and development: Contributions from the study of children who have overcome adversity. Development and Psychopathology, 2, 425-444.
- Masten, A. & Tellegen, A. (2012). Resilience in developmental psychopathology: Contributions of the Project Competence Longitudinal Study. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 345-361.
- Murphy, B. (2007). Locating social capital in resilient community-level emergency management. Natural Hazards, 41, 297-315.
- Norris, F., Stevens, S., Pfefferbaum, B., Wyche, K., & Pfefferbaum, R. (2008). Community resilience as a metaphor, theory, set of capacities, and strategy for disaster readiness. American Journal of Community Psychology, 41, 127-150.
- Obradovic, J., Long, J., Cutuli, J. J., Chan, C. K., Hinz, E., Heistad, D., & Masten, A. (2009). Academic achievement of homeless and highly mobile children in an urban school district: Longitudinal evidence on risk, growth, and resilience. Development and Psychopathology, 21, 49-3518.
- Richardson, G. (2002). The meta-theory of resilience and resiliency. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58, 385-397.
- Rutter, M. (1999). Resilience concepts and findings: Implications for family therapy. Journal of Family Therapy, 21, 119-144.
- Schibli, K., Wong, K., Hedayati, N., & D’Angiulli, A. (2017). Attending, learning, and socioeconomic disadvantage: Developmental cognitive and social neuroscience of resilience and vulnerability. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1396, 19–38.
- Werner, E. (1995). Resilience in development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 4, 81-85.
- Windle, G. (2011). What is resilience? A review and concept analysis. Reviews in Clinical Gerontology, 21, 152–169.
- Youssef, C. M., & Luthans, F. (2007). Positive organizational behavior in the workplace: The impact of hope, optimism, and resilience. Journal of Management, 33, 774-800.
- Yost, P. (2016). Resilience practices. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 9, 475-479.