Being resilient is crucial for people who face loss of a loved one, as well as for those who are going through adversities, but resilience is a trait that each one of us can benefit from on an everyday basis.
Here we offer you 3 strategies to stay resilient of Lucy Hone, a resilience researcher, famous TED speaker and a mother who lost her daughter. She has started to study resilience at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and after that she has continued her researcher’s work in Australia, where she is living. She had to test all she has been studying and researching about resilience when she lost her daughter in an accident and based on her personal experience, she gives hope to everyone that you can rise from adversity. Here are the 3 strategies that she relied upon, which saved her in her darkest days:
- Resilient people know that suffering is part of every human existence.Terrible things happen to all people, and when it comes to you, you should recognize it is time to swim or sink. Real life is not truly represented by the shiny pictures and stories we see in social media. In fact, the exact opposite represents the truth: people fight with family problems, diseases, COVID-19, other natural disasters, we have been bullied, not given equal rights, etc. The fact that the resilient people know that “shit happens” stops them from feeling discriminated when they face adversity.
- Resilient people are good at managing their attention. They choose to focus on things they can change and are realistic about the ones they can’t change. Evolutionally we, as human beings are predisposed to notice the threats and problems, and to stay focused on them to be able to survive. However, nowadays it is not possible to be chased by a saber-tooth tiger, but we are constantly bombarded with bad news by the media channels and our brains perceive them as threats, which activates the stress-response in our bodies. Resilient people do not diminish the negative events in life, but they find their way to tune in to the good. Following her tragic loss, Lucy Hone has told herself that she must choose life over death and has decided not to lose what she has today to what she has lost. The positive psychology research has proven the very important role of gratitude for staying resilient. Proactively searching for things, we should be grateful for and having a gratitude diary helps us overwrite our negative thinking and stay hopeful in times of adversity.
- Resilient people ask themselves: “Is what I am doing helping or harming me?”. Lucy Hone shares that she has been asking herself this question late at night when she has had urges to go back to the photos of her diseased daughter Abi. Then she has remembered to ask herself whether it was helping or hurting her and has been choosing to be kind to herself and go to bed.
As a result of all her works about resilience, Lucy Hone has found that asking yourself this question is the most powerful strategy that you can rely on in everyday life. You can use it to forgive and forget your family drama, but also to decide whether to drink the next glass of wine. It helps you to boost your agency and to feel more in control of your own life.
If you want to listen how Lucy Hone describes these 3 simple strategies in her TED talk, follow this link. You can also learn more reading her book “What Abi taught us”.
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