I thought this week it could be helpful to focus on RESILIENCE. How do we build resilience? Building resilience is the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress — it can help our children manage stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. Some look at resilience as our ability to bounce back after we have struggled, faltered, or failed. It is being able to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, take a moment or two to collect ourselves, and then get back to the business of pursuing our goal (whatever that goal is – big or small). It involves optimism. However, being resilient does not mean that children won't experience difficulty or distress (unfortunately), but it can allow them tools to deal with these difficulties and adapt better.
One of my favorite quotes is, "Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond." Lately, I have been reminding myself of that quote more and more. I cannot control the pandemic and all that is coming with that, much of which stinks (to put it bluntly), but what I can control is how I respond. I often remind kiddos that they are the “boss of their thoughts” – of course, we all are but sometimes we forget. Central to resilience are our beliefs and thoughts.
I love Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and use it when working with kiddos often and feel it can be of benefit to use when trying to be more resilient. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy emphasizes that central to resilience are our beliefs because our thoughts influence the intensity of our feelings and of our actions, and how and what we think about unpleasant or difficult situations also greatly affects our core beliefs. Core beliefs that are irrational or unhelpful greatly contribute to anxiety and depression and affect our resiliency. So basically, how we respond to a situation (in all aspects) can be more important than what actually happened. This thinking process allows us to be more in control and I think it can be empowering. Again, life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond. Practicing MINDFULNESS can help with all of this as well (helping to be more in the moment and not fret about what already happened or what may happen).
There are a number of resources on Mindfulness in links included in the Counseling Corner on the HT website. If you want to learn more, there are so many resources on building resilience in kids. Also, how CBT can play a role in helping to build resilience. I have included a few links below for more information and feel free to reach out should you want more information or any assistance.
I will end with a short Scripture verse from Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Let us remember that!
Please know of my continued thoughts and prayers and please reach out should I be of any help at all.