What is resilience all about?
Our ability to bend and withstand the difficulties of life, rather than break under the strain depends to a large extent on the way we think. Research from the University of Pennsylvania has shown that we all have our own personal thinking style which is our habitual patterns of looking at things that we have developed as we have gone through life. This is why two people in the same situation can view things so differently, as our thinking patterns bias and colour our viewpoints. Sometimes our habitual patterns can help us deal with what life throws at us and at other times those patterns can really hinder our efforts to get out of a situation we are in.
The good news is we can learn to understand and change our habitual styles of thinking and develop new skills to help us face life more resiliently, which then reduces the stress we experience in all kinds of situations.
How can I improve my resilience?
There are several factors that influence how we deal with events that happen to us and how resilient we will be. A key area is our ability to control our emotion and not get swept away by strong feelings or react in a knee-jerk way. This can be improved by identifying why we feel so strongly and by developing skills in self-calming, mood lifting and self compassion. Learning mindfulness can really help here too. Our ability to accurately see the causes of our problems can be helped by learning about the common thinking traps we all can fall into. Believing that we can be effective in the world and how to take a realistically optimistic view of events, by keeping a good perspective on things, are other areas in which we can increase our skills. Another important factor is empathy and how we reach out to others to form positive connections in a time of need.
You probably have many resilient strategies in your life already, which can be can be used in different circumstances once you understand what they are. I can help clients to develop their resilience in general or in a particular situation by guiding you in an understanding of your habitual thinking style and helping you to make better use of any strategies, character strengths, personal resources and insights you already have. Through personal resilience coaching and therapy sessions I can help you to build your skills in all the crucial areas that help to strengthen our resilience to stress and difficulty.