Resiliency: The Key To Survival

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Resiliency: The Key To Survival

Why Resilience Training Is Important

Resilience training then is a good supplement to the usual treatments that experts offer for mental ill health. Evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy are excellent for overcoming current symptoms, reducing stresses in the here-and-now, and helping people to respond to immediate issues. But resilience techniques go beyond that: they address the underlying issues, building what’s sometimes called ‘mental toughness’.

While such resilience strategies can help people cope with current problems, they tend to be oriented towards prevention. A great many demonstrations from the research show that resilience training boosts self esteem and self efficacy, enhances interpersonal relationships, increases academic or vocational performance, and improves physical health. The evidence that resilience training has a positive impact on general physical well being – lowering blood pressure, alleviating chronic pain and boosting the immune system – is also substantial.

The most important benefit of training could be limiting the effective penetration of trauma. It has been of particular interest and use when adapted in non-clinical settings, eg, helping active army service members cope with deployment and helping with resilience skills in the aftermath of natural disasters.

It’s worth remembering that, though some people do have hereditary traits related to resilience, research has also shown that resilience as a skill can be learned at any point in life, though cognitive, emotional and behavioural changes all take work. The workbook’s techniques are individualised so that they have the best chance of working for each person. Training in resilience benefits most from incorporation into daily habits like washing hands or brushing your teeth, or getting enough sleep.

Changing Your Perceptions About Yourself

Your subjective readings of experience sometimes have to do with the experience itself and sometimes with your sense of the experience. Perceptions can be distorted and sometimes justify unhealthy or unproductive behaviour. It is important to be able to distinguish your thoughts about an experience from the objective living of an experience.

Changing the words you use to understand and define your experiences requires conscious effort.

Overcoming Self Sabotage

Self sabotage includes doing things that are destructive or unhealthy, or that undermine your goals, efforts or values. Many of these behaviours are rooted in feelings or emotions of anxiety, anger or worthlessness. Everybody has slips from time to time – instances where they cheat on a diet or are late for a meeting. But for some people, self sabotage becomes chronic and significantly sidelines their life, work and relationships.

Negative self talk and low self esteem are often at the root of self sabotage – the belief that we are second class and unworthy leads to a sense of inadequacy and inferiority, which drives a pattern, a schema of behaviours, wherein self sabotage seems to occur again and again. Past instances of self sabotage can provide grounds for believing that we are indeed worthless and validate negative thought patterns. Portrayals and reputations suffer from repeated failure to keep agreements. Those who know and work with a self sabotaging individual will begin to view that person as unreliable, unmotivated, undriven, not willing to ‘get up those hills’, lazy, uncommitted, (whoever-they-think-they-are-but-not-who-they-could-be). Driving the cycle of repeated failure and disappointment is guilt and frustration, with each instance stoking a flame of shame that fuels lower self esteem.

Nixing self-sabotaging behaviours can then feel like the tough-love approach is the key to success, but this can also be a self-sabotaging approach because it distracts from the most important first step; calling out to yourself the needs that self-sabotage satisfies. Before you beat yourself up and attempt to force yourself to make better choices, you might first wish to extend yourself some compassion and put on the brakes. Take a moment to suspend self-judgment so you can remember that self-sabotage must serve some kind of function, perhaps in a way that’s not always obvious.

Changing Unhealthy behaviours to Produce Positive Emotions

Behaviour can both follow from feelings and what’s going on in your mind, but also, be influenced by them. You might feel out of control of your thoughts and behaviour when emotions feel like they’re overwhelming you. When you’re going through these blizzards of emotion, your thoughts and behaviours might become destructive – for example, you might engage in self-injury, bingeing on food, substance use, aggression. Because of this, you might feel depression, shame or guilt, and then you might act out in more destructive ways.

Focusing on Solutions

Thinking about problems hits a dead end, while solution focused thinking opens up possibilities and positive changes for the future. This worksheet will help you reflect on past problem solving experiences and ways to apply those strategies to provide solutions to your current situation. When you focus on solutions, it helps you find ways to move through barriers and into new positive ways of thinking, thus helping you attain what is important to you.

Improving Self Efficacy

Self efficacy might be the most important notion of ‘self’, as it embodies a fundamental belief in your ‘strengths and competence’ that affects: 1) your thoughts and emotions, 2) your behaviour, and finally 3) your motivation. Self efficacy is the basis for your understanding and acceptance of your true potential (and your ability to ‘mentally contract out’ of that potential, if you choose to do so). It represents your resilience, meaning your ability to regulate your thoughts and emotions, pursue your goals, experience wholeheartedness, and function optimally within your social world.

There are four primary sources of self efficacy;

Mastery experiences. Success directly influences your self-judgment, builds your confidence and increases the chances of further successes. Self-efficacy through mastery calls for grit to deal with expectations and to embrace occasional difficulty as part of the path.

Secondhand experiences. Seeing others succeed, especially individuals like yourself, is a powerful way to believe that you can achieve it too.

Modelling. Role models are people whom you see as valuable models for your own behaviour, values and aspirations. Through observing their behaviours, values and achievements, you are provided with an experimental field through which you can pick up lessons for yourself, as well as inspiration to expend.

Emotional and physical states. Since your self efficacy is constantly evolving, your mental and physical state at any given moment will determine how high it is – terrible events that make you feel demoralised can knock you down and make you more vulnerable, whereas good experiences and happy feelings will raise your sense of self and increase your faith in your own capacities.

These points above are only the beginning for Resilience. To master all the points, we recommend a training session on Resilience where our professional team can help you or your employees become more resilient for the future.

Contact Our Team

Contact our staff for any question, request or assistance.
We are always available to help.

Contact Our Team

Contact our staff for any question, request or assistance.
We are always available to help.

Contact Our Team

Contact our staff for any question, request or assistance.
We are always available to help.

Contact Our Team

Contact our staff for any question, request or assistance.
We are always available to help.

Contact Our Team

Contact our staff for any question, request or assistance.
We are always available to help.

Tell us more

Thank you for choosing to work with us. We would like to help build a session that suits you. You may have already received a sample from our team, however we would like to learn more about your needs.

Editor