“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”
What is Resilience?
The word ‘resilience’ comes from the Latin word ‘resilio’ which means ‘to bounce back’ or retaliate. Emotional resilience is our ability to cope with trauma, threats or significant sources of stress while maintaining a healthy level of psychological and physical functioning.
Resilience has previously been understood As...
We all have different levels of innate resilience based on our individual traits and biology. These innate traits are then combined with our life experiences and things like past traumas, current triggers and how much support we have around us will have an impact on how resilient we feel.
As a Highly Sensitive Person, you might be more impacted by stress and triggers in your environment because of the innate traits and genetic factors which cause you to process information in your environment more deeply. However, resilience and an ability to bounce back from stressful life events is something that can be learnt and cultivated in everyone! This is because resilience is a process which can be maintained by engaging in consistent practices and making small lifestyle changes. This includes meditation and mindfulness and the practices that I share throughout the Highly Sensitive Hub.
To stay motivated, it is important to connect with the purpose for cultivating resilience in the first place, set the right intention to develop it and then take the right action to nurture a healthy mind, body and spirit. Small manageable steps to change our behaviour over time will help us to build resilience. Like exercising or going to the gym to build muscle, we can commit to grow and maintain mental strength and flexibility.
Leaning into our Challenges
Another element of building resilience is having the courage to face our challenges and lean into our difficulties. Even though it might sound counterintuitive - facing our stress rather than avoiding it will help us to build the skills needed to rebound from difficult situations in the future.
Identifying with the traits of high sensitivity doesn’t mean we should be avoid facing stress or adversity, it just means that we may need to take more time to adjust,and to engage in self-care practices which help us to maintain our resilience over time. It's also important to know that it is OK and actually necessary for us to do so!
CONNECTION & COMMUNITY
We are likely to feel more resilient when we have caring and supportive relationships, a network of friends and family and a knowing that we belong to something greater than ourselves. As well as our connection with friends and family, a connection to Earth, nature and our environment is crucial. Evidence has shown that being in nature reduces anger, stress and fear, and it increases positive emotions such as feeling calm, peaceful and happy. This is why the Highly Sensitive hub works so much to bring those who identify with being HS together, it is so important for us to have community and support each other through our challenges.
Resilience is an interplay between doing and being and integrating the masculine and feminine polarities of our selves. This means that while we are consciously engaging in practices that cultivate a resilient attitude, we are also entering a place of being where we can embrace the totality of our experience and attempt to find greater acceptance for what arises.
Resilience requires a certain level of vulnerability; an ability to take risks, to know that mistakes will happen and that life will inevitably involve challenges. It is then the ability to carry oneself through these challenges with the right flexibility, compassion and courage.
In the following section, I will talk about seven key areas which can help us to build resilience. These seven key areas include: grounding ourselves, building emotional awareness, connecting with our core self, cultivating self-compassion, expressing our authentic self, connecting with our values and purpose and then learning how to go beyond the limitations of our individual ego!
WHAT RESILIENCE ISN'T...
It is also important to note that resilience isn’t just about forcing our process. It's also not about putting on a hard exterior that tells the world we are always ‘strong’. It is not the belief that ‘we can get through anything’ or that ‘we cannot be broken’.