Can I Learn to be Resilient?
Sigh… life is full of irony.
Being resilient is hard when you don't feel like being resilient.
What if I sat here and just watched Netflix all day?
What if I just sat here and gave up on my usual drive to be active?
What if I just sat here and snacked on chips and cookies all day?
What if I just stayed in bed?
In my opinion, these are all legit questions. Because, seriously, WHAT IF?!?!
Interestingly enough (and also thankfully), research in the field of positive psychology shows that while certain people may have the ability to exercise resilience across various situations, a more contemporary view define’s resilience as "a dynamic process encompassing positive adaptation within the context of significant adversity” Luthar, Cicchetti, & Becker (2000).
POSITIVE ADAPTATION… the ability to learn how to respond to adversity in a positive way. Yes, you can LEARN to be resilient.
This is a time of intense uncertainty. How much worse is it going to get? What will be the long term impact? How long is this going to last? How will this affect the people close to me? How will we recover? So many questions that cause so much anxiety.
The uncertainty and uncontrollability can negatively impact your mood, your thoughts, and your feelings towards all other areas of your life… even those areas that you DO have control over.
This is how negativity bias works:
You think negatively towards one thing ➡️➡️ which cause you to feel negatively ➡️➡️ which causes you to perceive more things negatively ➡️➡️ which causes you to detect negative information more easily ➡️➡️ which makes it more difficult to let go of negative information ➡️➡️ which causes you to feel even more negatively.
And so the cycle continues.
This is just one dynamic process that can impact your ability to be resilient.
At the end of the day, it’s not about trying to shut off the negative feelings. You’re going to have negative feelings, and that’s ok.
It’s about being mindful of how and when those negative feelings start creeping into other areas of your life.