Emotional resilience

Home ThinkSpace Week 5: Mood Management Emotional resilience

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  • According to Merriam­-Webster, emotional resilience is an “ability to recover from or adjust

    easily to misfortune or change.” Other terms ascribed to resilience are buoyancy and elasticity.

    Some have linked positivity to resiliency (Kalisch, et al., 2015), yet others have found resilience is

    tied more to flexibility than positivity (Koole, Schwager & Rothermund, 2015). Which do you

    think has a greater effect on resilience, flexibility, positivity or something else? Do you use tools

    to enhance your emotional resilience (e.g. meditation, mantras, yoga)?   #emotionalresilience

  • Years ago I came across Dr. Kristen Neff via the documentary Horse Boy. Her work centers on the Buddhist concept of self-compassion, which she suggests is more beneficial than self-esteem in cultivating resilience. Her findings started in her doctoral work (I think) among young girls pushed into arranged marriages and learning how they reconciled themselves to their fates.

    From her website (http://self-compassion.org/the-three-elements-of-self-compassion-2/), what self-compassion is:

    Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?

    #selfcompassion #resilientlymyself

    Samantha Kaplan
    • I have found that emotional resilience has shown up in my life in all three of these ways, waxing and waning, which makes me think of emotional resilience as very similar to phases that we pass through.  It has been a positive motivator–“the bounce back”, but in times of extreme duress it has also functioned as conduit of self-compassion with me nurturing myself through it with kindness and love to get through that.  I am certain that without that, I may have not made it.

  • “Adjust to misfortune or change” implies an event or occurrence. What challenges me is the constant pile-up of new conditions and discomforts which never go away, at best I can medicate to diminish them. For me emotional resilience relies on my ability to, once, again choose not to listen to those voices. My participation so far with The Body Listening Project seems to be about ignoring the cacophony… be it choosing a chorus of smaller voices to ignore, or sometimes ignoring the screams (which always exacts a toll). Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of being in tune with one’s self and pursuing a harmony of mind and body. All of us endeavor to ignore  insidious advertising, dismissing bad traffic while driving, etc. This seems to be Body Listening thus far for me. I haven’t seen the Inside Out movie which depicts internal emotions as the reside and interact in the body. But I feel like I have a similar internal situation, I’m the manager of all these competing voices and have to coddle them, suppress them, have a talk with them when they get cantankerous, give them attitude adjustments and rewards. I never wanted to be a manager, no wonder they are burned out all the time!

    • That’s an interesting observation, Zepplin, the “ignoring the cacophony”. That in itself (the way you describe it) sounds like a lot of work!

    • Yes, hard work indeed – and most managers choose that path. #fulltimebodymanager

    • I understand your perspective Zepplin.  Mental and mood stuff is very difficult to manage and perservere throughand especially when it is constant and incessant.  I once heard the quote: “Peace–it doesn’t mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.  It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”  Years later I found that same quote by “Unknown” on a magnet that is on my fridge to this day.  I think the same can be said about success and perseverance in switching out Peace for those–it’s concepts I’ve come to realize.  Especially when it comes to this very thing.  Wwhile everything in me and around me may never settle down,  understanding my body rhythm and inner life for what they are, truly can help me get to the best place of management, where I manage what is happening as an observer, but I don’t get swept away in the stream helplessly every day.  We may not be able to ever control it all–in fact, we won’t–but getting through it, I think, includes learning how to manage it victoriously and that makes a huge difference over the time we have to endure. #flowersforourjourneys

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  • I have had to learn to tune out the external expectations (cacophony) of others and ask myself what I need at the moment.  It seems very self-centered so accepting this as being self-compassionate helps.   It is very freeing but it also contributes to isolation as it is difficult to sustain the give and take nature of relationships.  Having a chronic illness, for me, requires chronic attentiveness with many If – then mindfulness statements.  #PlannedRestBreaks of prayer and meditation help.   #AllowingSadness and #PlanningHappyActivities is emerging as a way of self-compassion.  At the same time, I have to accept just muddling through.

    • ListenToYourBody, I can really relate to this. Acceptance, understanding, and self-compassion have also been necessary for me to cope with my chronic pain, both for my relationship with myself AND my relationship with others. I try not to think of it as selfishness, but as making sure that I’m doing what I can do be present with myself and others. Sometimes for me that means just acknowledging when things are really bad and taking the time to work on them as best I can. #selfcompassion #relationshipswithpain #acknowledgment
      In our week 9 exploration we are talking about mindfulness and how we’ve used it to help us cope with our condition and our relationships (inward and outward). On Saturday 5/7 we’ll be talking specifically about relationships. I hope you’ll tune into the discussion and contribute if so moved.

      Rachel Carriere

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