Story by Andrada Florescu of Del Ray Psych & Wellness
"What defines us is how well we rise after falling."
Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. Research states that resiliency provides us with the ability to recover quickly from change, hardship, or misfortune. Resilient people, therefore, demonstrate flexibility, optimism, and openness to learning. However, being resilient doesn’t mean that a person won’t experience difficulty or hardship. The road to resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional distress. Below are 5 ways to foster resiliency and wellbeing:
1. Finding purpose
Purpose, or the ability to learn and grow from our past experiences, continually reaching for our goals despite challenges, is essential to building resiliency. Research studies indicate that if we live with purpose, we’re also apt to live longer, have better health, and make better lifestyle choices. As we start living with purpose, it becomes easier to find meaning and learn from life’s experiences, offering us a psychological buffer against future obstacles. People who have a clear purpose and direction for their lives, find it much simpler to get back up, dust themselves off and keep moving forward.
2. Becoming comfortable with change
Change is inevitable. We experience transitions in work and relationships, changes in our physical and mental health, and new events in our local communities and our world every day. A great percentage of people spend a significant amount of time and energy trying to avoid change. However, if we can learn to cope with change, the risk for anxiety and depression will lower, our relationships will flourish, and our bodies will feel healthier. On the flip side, if we can’t cope with change, only a minor amount of stress can make you feel overwhelmed by life.
3. Developing meaningful connections
Now more than ever, we should counter the lack of face-to-face interactions, by working to make our connections richer and more meaningful. Dr. McGonical, bestselling author of ‘’The Upside of Stress’’ highlights that our bodies have built-in mechanisms to cope with stress through human connection. “Stress gives us access to our hearts – the compassionate heart that finds joy and meaning in connecting with others.” Stress responses turn us outward to make connections, we’re saying that we can trust ourselves to handle life’s challenges, and we’re remembering that we don’t have to face them alone. When we reach out to others under stress either to seek support or to help someone else, we release stress hormones, our response becomes healthier, and we recover faster from distress.
4. Prioritizing self-care
“Taking care of yourself,” writes the American Psychological Association “helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with situations that require resilience.”. Research further says that if we are physically fit, getting enough sleep and eating well, we are not as likely to fall into unhealthy patterns when faced with everyday challenges and changes. As we start to realize that taking care of ourselves is not selfish, is also important to remember that our physical and emotional resilience are interconnected. If we address both, we can enhance our productivity, get more fulfillment out of work, connect with our creative energy and enrich the relationships with the people around us.
5. Practicing Mindfulness
Dr. Chaskalson, the founder of Mindfulness Works and a pioneer in the application of Mindfulness, indicates that mindful people can cope better with difficult thoughts and emotions without becoming overwhelmed or shutting down emotionally. Pausing and observing the mind may help us resist getting drawn into wallowing in a setback. Mindfulness meditation is a great way to become more resilient. By turning towards the mind in meditation you begin to notice thought processes as they happen. In that way unhelpful patterns of thinking can be seen for what they are – just thoughts.
Resilience is an important ability and something that we can get better at with time. Start by practicing the 5 resilience-building skills above in your daily life. Building meaningful lives, strong connections, learning to cherish our minds and bodies while remaining flexible are active steps that we can take towards becoming more resilient in the face of life’s challenges.
To learn more about fostering resiliency and wellbeing or to schedule your appointment with Andrada, please visit www.delraypsych.com
Meet Andrada Florescu of Del Ray Psych & Wellness
Andrada Florescu is a Graduate Counseling Intern at Del Ray Psych & Wellness, LLC. She believes in meeting the client where they are and being a companion in their journey towards personal growth. She values the therapeutic relationship, working on creating a safe place for the clients to express themselves while achieving their personal goals. Andrada uses an eclectic approach, yet tailors it for each client’s need. She integrates couple and family therapy, emotion-focused, CBT interventions, along with breathwork techniques in her practice. She enjoys working with adults, adolescents, couples, and families. Furthermore, Andrada helps clients overcame a variety of concerns such as transitional challenges, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, low self-esteem, couples or relationship issues. Issues of racial, gender, cultural identity are close to her heart, and she is fluent in English, Spanish and Romanian. In her free time, Andrada loves hiking with her two huskies, trying new restaurants with her husband, as well as traveling.