Happy Wednesday, OMPT friends. This week we are sharing some tools and strategies to build our inner resilience. Whether it is overcoming injury, training for an adventure or race, improving our relationships, applying for a new job, or simply dealing with the hand we are dealt in life, having tools to increase our resilience is immeasurably helpful.
Dr. Lucy Hone, a resilience expert, and researcher, shares three tools ANYONE can use to improve resilience in her TEDx Talk. Link to the full talk here: https://www.ted.com/talks/lucy_hone_3_secrets_of_resilient_people
She opens by saying, "Adversity does not discriminate. If you are alive, you are going to have to (or you have already had to) deal with some tough times." Going through challenges is an inevitable part of the human experience; resilience or strategies for resilience can provide us with the tools to navigate difficult times. Utilizing proven strategies to help foster our inner strength helps us become active participants through the difficult times rather than passive bystanders who lack the perception of control.
She continues, "resilience isn't some fixed trait. It's not elusive, that some people have and some people don't. It actually requires very ordinary processes. Just the willingness to give them a go." Resilience is not a character trait though it may come easier to some; it is a strategy and a skill that can be learned and practiced.
Try her three go-to strategies to help build resilience.
1. Resilient people understand that "shit happens."
Struggle and adversity are part of life, and when the tough times come, acknowledge it is part of being human.
Life is not glittery social media perfection; hard times happen, and we do not feel so singled out when we acknowledge this.
If you are an athlete, there is an inherent risk of injury; we can do our best to mitigate risk with training and preparation. However, we can not eliminate it.
Strategy #1: acknowledge that when shit happens, the shit didn't single us out.
2. Resilient people are good at choosing where they select their attention.
Evolutionarily, our brains are wired to pay more attention to threats/dangers/negative emotions than the good and the positive. This strategy was critical to our survival as a species (the best of days can end quickly if a sabertooth cat catches you daydreaming). However, the omnipresent distractions of modern times can trick this mechanism into causing sustained heightened stress, preventing us from focusing on the areas of life in need of our attention.
Resilient people appraise situations objectively and focus on what can be controlled rather than things that cannot. Resilient people figure out ways to focus and tune into the good. Find a way to be grateful during the process and realize the good in the world.
Strategy #2: Find three GOOD things to be grateful for every day.
3. Is the way I think and act helping me?
This powerful question helps put you in the driver's seat to deal with whatever challenge you may face. It helps you realize you are in control of your thought processes and decision-making. Are the thoughts you are having, or the actions you are taking, helping work toward where you want to go?
Whether it's a fitness goal, recreational adventure, work challenge, recent breakup, or significant life disruptor, know that you are in control of how you respond to each thought that pops in your brain. You can choose what action/response you take. When you find yourself stuck, question your current process.
Strategy #3: Ask yourself, "is the way I am thinking and the way I am acting helping or harming me?"
I encourage you to listen to the entire 15-minute talk for greater depth and explanation of each strategy. The beauty is that ANYONE can use these strategies, ANYTIME and ANYWHERE.
You are STRONG,
Nicole Todisco MacDonald