When we think about resilient people, we think about those who are dynamic, flexible and able to deal with the fast-changing and complex world we live in today.
However, imagine if you could become more resilient yourself?
What could you accomplish if you were better able to tolerate high levels of stress, endure the inevitable setback while remaining open and engaged?
Resilience is the ability to take on difficult challenges, cope with adversity and still find meaning in life. It allows us to cope when things look bleak by responding positively to difficult situations and tapping into hope. It means we can rise above adversity by transforming unfavourable circumstances into wisdom and insight and bounce back.It is this ability to learn that allows us to build and strengthen our resilience, making it possible for us to become stronger and better able to adapt, and eventually thrive in adversity.
“He who has a ‘why’ to live for can bear almost any ‘how’”
Victor Frankl wrote about his survival of a Nazi concentration camp in Man’s Search for Meaning.He summarised this powerful story of resilience by saying: “He who has a ‘why’ to live for can bear almost any ‘how’ emphasising the importance of having purpose and meaning in our lives to fulfil our potential.
Our journey to building our resilience begins here.By identifying our core values, we can keep sight of the bigger picture at times of stress and hardship, as well as providing a roadmap to help navigate our way through the challenges and changes we encounter.
The ability to endure the physical and emotional hardship of adversity and come out stronger depends on our capacity to prioritise our self-care at all times. What’s more, when we prioritise our need for good nutrition, exercise, sleep and take care of our emotional and physical wellbeing, we enhance our performance, nurture our self-compassion and build stronger relationships with others, all fundamental to our resilience.It goes without saying that when we are unwell, exhausted or hungry, we can’t perform at our best.
For many of us, there isn’t the time to take care of ourselves even though we know how important it is.We are constantly reminded of the dangers of our lifestyle choices. Obesity is now a significant threat to our health and ranks as high as smoking as a cause of cancer and the WHO has declared that one in four of the worlds’ population will suffer from a mental health disorder at some point in their lives, placing it among the leading causes of ill health and disability worldwide.
Eating a healthy balanced diet of fresh food, rich in nutrients and minerals allows us to maintain our weight and is vital for our overall health. We need these essential ingredients to support our immune system that works day and night against infection and plays a crucial role in our cancer scavenger system, destroying abnormal cells before they develop into tumours.
Keeping active through regular exercise is vital for us to stay active and agile, as well as maintaining cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health.Other positive benefits include improved concentration, creativity and a feeling of self-esteem – activity is thus essential for our mental health and emotional agility.
Our bodies undergo essential healing and repair when we sleep. During this time our brains consolidate and strengthen our neuronal connections increasing our knowledge and our capacity to learn, reason and be creative.Eight hours of sleep each night is optimal for this, and chronic sleep deprivation is associated with physical diseases including hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as reduced concentration, reduced cognitive ability, dementia and mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Neglecting these essential needs drains us of our energy, both physical and emotional, impacting our ability to respond to the challenges we face.
When we can see how important self-care is, not just to survive but thrive, it becomes our ‘why’ and gives us the ability to manage our ‘how.’
Rather than saying we ‘must’ go to the gym, improve our diet or get more sleep, we find that we ‘want’ to make these lifestyle changes, opening up the opportunity for us to become more dynamic and flexible, curious and self-compassionate and able to find the energy and drive to face our challenges in times of adversity.
Interested in starting your journey to building resilience in your life?Contact one of our Centre for Coaching Directors to learn about our workshops and public programs.