Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties or adjust easily to change. Our world is one of rapid change and this can lead to stress – both in children and in adults.
How is resilience developed?
Resilience is developed by overcoming obstacles as we strive for goals and it is important that this begins at an early age. We want to keep our children safe but they need to learn for themselves; to be allowed to make mistakes; to learn the consequences of making poor choices and to sometimes fail. Society allows children less and less freedom to explore, to make their own judgements, to discover the boundaries of safety and this leaves them ill-equipped to deal with things later in life. Children become resilient when they are given the tools they require to negotiate the difficulties of adulthood and parents help by:
- Building confidence and a positive self-view, but not an unrealistic one.
- Providing a sense of security; home should be a place of safety with routine and ritual.
- Establishing good morals and values as a template for making those good choices.
- Encouraging caring and generous behaviour to others to develop understanding.
- Teaching coping strategies to deal with failure and to handle negative situations.
- Allowing them that feeling of triumph as an obstacle, however small, is overcome solely by their own efforts
As adults, we need to be stretched to become motivated and exhilarated; to feel competent and in control. But when we become over-stretched and stressed we feel angry, frustrated, out of control and this can lead to anxiety, depression and ultimately breakdown. When this happens, we need to engage resilience:
- Take a calm look at things – breathe and work out the source of the stress. Examine the situation and see what can be done.
- Get rid of self-pity, doubt, fear, regret – challenge what your mind is saying to you
- Believe in your own abilities
- Take a proper look at what you really need to be OK
- Tolerate ambiguity, change, the unexpected and accept those things over which you have no control
- Accept that sometimes you feel stronger than other times
- Learn from observing and listening to others
Life is a journey beset by obstacles but we are hard-wired to take on difficulties – we need challenges – and it is empowering when we succeed. As Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger”.
If you are struggling with stress or with change, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help. Please contact me for a free Initial consultation to discuss your problems in complete confidence and with no obligation. I have a DBS enhanced level clearance to work with children and vulnerable adults.