Wise Ways to Bounce Back from Life's Hits
By Sandy Schroeder
Everywhere you go people seem to be talking about resilience. That’s really not too surprising, when you consider the fast-paced, sometimes trying world we live in. Being resilient can make the difference.
Recently I went to lunch with three friends, who have shared many ups and downs, but this time one story stood out. One of my friends had just experienced a freeway accident that sent her car spinning across all of the lanes. The accident was not her fault. She was fine, and her car was replaced, but the sheer force of the story left us all silent as we absorbed what had happened.
My friend is a very calm, resilient person. The morning after the accident she reviewed the situation, fielded the details, and took the necessary steps to move on with her life. We could all learn a lot from her.
Recently, Steven Petrow shared his experiences with calmness and resilience in the Washington Post, concluding, “Resilience to bounce back really means bringing our best courage, intelligence and strength to life’s most difficult situations. When we intentionally bring our best, resilience grows.”
So how do we bring our best to life’s challenges?
Avoid seeing yourself as a victim, and be aware that resilience can be learned. That’s the message from Petrow.
The next step might be mindfulness meditation. Petrow stumbled upon David deSouza’s book, Mindfulness Journal, and found it worked for him.
Petrow interviewed DeSouza, who said, “Meditation results in almost unnoticeable positive changes in our behavior, adding up like compound interest. It helps identify cause and effect of emotions and actions so you can say, ‘I am behaving like this because I am stressed, angry or hungry.’ ”
DeSouza then suggests homework.
When you wake up, ask yourself, “How do you feel this morning?” Grade yourself from 1 (bad) to 10 (excellent).
Then record what exercise you are doing. Did you do yoga, walk, go to the gym, or something else?
At the end of the day, ask yourself, “What are you grateful for?” Finding that positive answer may help you sleep better.
As you make your way forward, Petrow and DeSouza’s approach to resilience might be worth trying. Consider finding out more about mindfulness meditation, and remind yourself to bring your best game to the table every time you are challenged.
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