18 Feb How to be resilient in 8 steps
Sometimes, life can be incredibly wonderful.
Sometimes, life seems too hard.
Sometimes, we need to be resilient to just get through; to survive; to bounce back to happiness.
Sometimes, happiness might be just 8 steps away…
via the Ladders by Eric Barker
“Stick with it!”
“Never give up!”
I see a lot of stuff about resilience, persistence and grit. What I don’t see is a lot of legitimate info on how to actually increase those qualities.
How can we be more resilient? How can we shrug off huge challenges in life, persist and — in the end — succeed?
So I looked at the most difficult scenarios for insight. (Who needs resilience in easy situations, right?)
When life and death is on the line, what do the winners do that the losers don’t?
Turns out surviving the most dangerous situations has some good lessons we can use to learn how to be resilient in everyday life.
Whether it’s dealing with unemployment, a difficult job, or personal tragedies, here are insights that can help.
1) Perceive and believe
“The company already had two rounds of layoffs this year but I never thought they would let me go.”
“Yeah, the argument was getting a little heated but I didn’t think he was going to hit me.”
The first thing to do when facing difficulty is to make sure you recognize it as soon as possible.
Sounds obvious but we’ve all been in denial at one point or another. What do people who survive life-threatening situations have in common?
They move through those “stages of grief” from denial to acceptance faster:
They immediately begin to recognize, acknowledge, and even accept the reality of their situation… They move through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance very rapidly.
What’s that thing doctors say when they’re able to successfully treat a medical problem? “Good thing we caught it early.”
When you stay oblivious or live in denial, things get worse — often in a hurry. When you know you’re in trouble you can act.
Nobody is saying paranoia is good but research shows a little worrying is correlated with living a longer life.
(For more on how a little negativity can make you happier, click here.)
Okay, like they say in AA, you admitted you have a problem. What’s the next thing the most resilient people do?
2) Manage your emotions
Sometimes when SCUBA divers drown they still have air in their oxygen tanks. Seriously.
How is this possible? Something goes wrong, they panic, and instinctively pull the regulator out of their mouth.
M. Ephimia Morphew, a psychologist and founder of the Society for Human Performance in Extreme Environments, told me of a series of accidents she’d been studying in which scuba divers were found dead with air in their tanks and perfectly functional regulators. “Only they had pulled the regulators out of their mouths and drowned. It took a long time for researchers to figure out what was going on.” It appears that certain people suffer an intense feeling of suffocation when their mouths are covered. That led to an overpowering impulse to uncover the mouth and nose. The victims had followed an emotional response that was in general a good one for the organism, to get air. But it was the wrong response under the special, non-natural, circumstances of scuba diving.
When you’re having trouble breathing what’s more natural than to clear an obstruction from your mouth?
Now just a brief second of clear thinking tells you this is a very bad idea while diving — but when you panic, you can’t think clearly.
Rash decision making rarely delivers optimal results in everyday life either.
Resilient people acknowledge difficult situations, keep calm and evaluate things rationally so they can make a plan and act.
Al Siebert, in his book The Survivor Personality, writes that “The best survivors spend almost no time, especially in emergencies, getting upset about what has been lost, or feeling distressed about things going badly…. For this reason they don’t usually take themselves too seriously and are therefore hard to threaten.”
(For methods Navy SEALS, astronauts and the samurai use to keep calm under pressure, click here.)
So you know you’re in trouble but you’re keeping your cool. Might there be a simple way to sidestep all these problems? Yeah…
…keep reading the full & original article HERE