Developing RESILIENCE – traits

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Resilience #2

SITE: Resilience in mental health
(psychology + neuro-biology)

QUOTE: “Strong people alone know how to organize their suffering so as to bear only the most necessary pain.”
˜ Emil Dorian, Romanian poet & physician



Internal QUALITIES that BUILD Resilience
1. Competence = skilled at practical & creative activities
2. Creativity = expresses self thru artistic activities, by imagination & creative thinking or other processes (new theories, scientific studies….)

3. Flexibility = can adjust to change, bend when necessary, & positively cope with situations
4. Humor = good sense of humor, can still laugh in difficult situations
5. Independence = can distance oneself from unhealthy people & situations. Has autonomy, able to get one’s own way when appropriate

6. Inner directedness = (locus of control) basing choices & decisions from a personal evaluation – appropriate for oneself & the circumstances
7. Life skills = includes making good decisions, being assertive, having good impulse control
8. Love of learning = shows capacity for & interest in gathering info

9. Perceptiveness = has insight into & understanding of people & situations
10. Perseverance = keeps on in spite of difficulties, doesn’t give up
11. Positive view of personal future = is realistically optimistic, expects to achieve goal & dreams

12. Relationships = is sociable, able to form positive relationships & be a good friend
13. Self-motivation = actions come from internal initiative & positive self-motivation
14. Self-worth = has self-esteem & self-confidence

15. Service = helps others, but does not rescue
16. Spirituality = has personal faith in something greater than oneself
SOURCEs: Resiliency Workbook… & Resiliency in Action ~ Nan Henderson

When things are tough, we have 3 options:
1. We can ignore trouble & hope it goes away – by sticking our head in the sand, but with our butt exposed. Anyone who does that is vulnerable to being kicked from behind – when they least expect it! -OR-
2. We can face it head on & find a constructive way to deal with the situation – if at all possible. If something doesn’t work, we improve our strategy, & keep trying -OR-
3. When faced with impossible situations (getting an addict or co-dep into recovery, healing a terminal illness, getting our parent’s love & approval…. ), the only option left is to let go, turn it over to a Higher Power, & focus on improving our own life.

For resilience to flourish, there has to be a balance of positive & negative experiences in our daily life. Research suggests that we regularly need at least a 3-to-1 ratio of ➕ to ➖ experiences – to deal with life’s ‘crap’, but especially to be optimally productive & enjoy. Our personal R-ratio identifies how well we can bounce back from disappointments,  injury or failure. (from: “POSITIVITY“)

This means that: for every situation that causes us aggravating or heart-hurtful emotions, we need 3 or more heartfelt positive events that are encouraging & feel good. So – if you experience 5 painful things today, you’ll need 15 healing onesto counter them! Less than that – for too long – makes for misery. Prolonged stress or trauma has many negative effects, including depression, PTSD, medical illness & substance abuse.

Built-in survival mechanisms in the brain make it naturally wired to pay more attention to negative events than positive ones. For ACoAs who’ve lived mostly with bad ones – we need to up the ante – consistently adding many more positives to our life. A key to building R. comes from noticing, valuing & accepting good things whenever & wherever they occur. (balance CHARTS ↗)

Positive stokes can be big or little
• They can come from a hug, cuddling with kids, animals, & maybe a mate? 😍
• From a fun interaction with a friend, a smile or generous word from a stranger, being in a 12-Step meeting, or watching a TED talk
• An unexpected smile or gift, someone helping you carry groceries, or helping with the dishes, reading a great book or having a small dinner party…..
• It can also include someone listening to your troubles with empathy & understanding.

⛩ It’s anything you don’t have to earn or pay for, anything that warms you inside – even a little – or gives you a lift!

SITE: ‘Daily Good News that Inspires’ – many links

NEXT: Resilience #3

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