Resilience: Your shield against stress

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Resilience: Your shield against stress

You probably have that one person in your circle of friends who doesn't let anything get her down. She has a mishap or she has simply had bad luck and just gets back up again as if nothing had happened. She sets out for new deeds as if this setback had only given her more strength.

Wondering how she does it? The magic word is resilience. You can think of it as an invisible shield that protects your soul from stress and adversity. It doesn't mean that nothing negative will ever happen to you again, but it puts a lot less strain on your psyche.

How do you get such a shield? You simply forge it yourself! How this works and what you need to know about resilience, you can find out here.

What is resilience?

Let's start from the beginning and look at where the term comes from. What does "resilience" mean? The word has its origins in materials science. There, resilient is used to describe materials that simply return to their original form after external influences. In a slightly modified form, this can also be applied to humans.

Here's a little resilience example: You're having a very stressful time at work and don't know where your head is anymore. Others would break down from the amount of tasks you currently have to do, but not you. You are withstanding the stress and not letting it get you down. You might even come out of this phase stronger. But how exactly does that work?

Resilience is often referred to as the immune system of the soul. It protects your psyche from crises and setbacks, which in turn makes it easier for you to overcome them. Resilience drives you to pull yourself out of the low and to face new challenges. What you learned from the crisis you can immediately put into action and come back both stronger and wiser. Resilient people don't lose themselves in illusions that make the crisis seem less bad, but look for something positive, a glimmer of hope that will drive them forward.

The 7 pillars of resilience

The 7 pillars of resilience

Strong resilience needs a certain basic framework on which it can be based. It consists of a total of seven pillars - four basic attitudes and three practices.

Your basic attitude determines your attitude towards the outside world and also your feelings. So what you need is the right mindsetin order to be able to withstand stress. This is where the four basic attitudes come into play: acceptance, optimism, solution orientation and commitment.

The practices, on the other hand, are mainly about dealing with yourself and constantly building your resilience. They are designed to help you better understand yourself and your reactions, and thus make your interactions with everything around you more positive. These practices include: Self-awareness, Self-reflection, self-efficacy.

1. acceptance

There are things you can't change - at least not right away. Don't waste your energy getting angry about it, but accept the fact. Check it off in your mind and you will see how a lot of stress is suddenly released.

But what is important is not only Acceptance towards the situation, but also towards you. No one is perfect and we all have our little flaws. Value yourself and your abilities and try to trace the causes of any flaws. This will help you to accept and maybe even work on it, if necessary.

2. optimism

A healthy optimism never hurt anyone, quite the opposite. Being able to see something good in the bad is a quality that helps you keep stress at bay. So don't focus on the negative things and get lost in pessimism. Interrupt negative thought patterns by becoming aware of what you can currently be grateful for.

One thing is for sure: there is almost always something positive hidden in a negative situation. You just can't close your eyes to it. Keeping a gratitude journal can help you focus on the good.

3. solution orientation

Problems need solutions, that's the only way to get rid of them. Formulate your goals clearly and without much ado. Very important: Stay realistic! A utopian Setting Goals only causes more stress and negative feelings when you realize you've bitten off more than you can chew.

Celebrate many small successes rather than chasing a big one that is hard to achieve. Do not disregard your own abilities, because they are the ones that will lead you to your goal. Use them as a guide in your search for solutions. This will give you the certainty that all the necessary skills are already lying dormant in you and that you only have to use them.

4. binding

Man has never been a loner and probably never will be. Bonds give us support, offer protection and strengthen our backs. So do not withdraw, but cultivate your social contacts. But be sure to distinguish which of these contacts are good for you and which ones only drain you. Every good relationship, no matter on which level, should be based on a balanced relationship between give and take.

And you should make another distinction, namely the one between the factual and the relationship level. If you allow factual issues to enter the relationship level, this will cause stress. You expose yourself to an emotional burden that you could have avoided.

Clear communication is the key to making sure you and the person you're talking to are on the same page. The more intimate the bond between the two of you, the more important it is to separate factual and relationship issues.

5. self-perception

If you want to be resilient, you need one thing above all: a good bond with yourself. This is expressed, among other things, in your self-perception. Do you listen to your body enough? Do you respond to the signals it sends you? The keyword is Mindfulness.

Your body and also your mind are always giving you feedback about your current state. Listen carefully and act accordingly. This way you can easily improve your well-being. What does this have to do with resilience? A healthy mind is more resilient and can better cope with stress.

6. self-reflection

Unlike self-perception, self-reflection does not look at yourself from your own perspective, but from the outside. Reflection is therefore much more objective. It is about classifying actions and emotions.

Why did you act that way? What exactly triggered these emotions in you? In the context of the Self-reflection you get to the root causes and gain a whole new understanding of yourself. It helps you to discover your own Needs and find out how you can increase your well-being.

7. self-efficacy

Everything you do has an impact. So you are able to actively influence certain things. The awareness of that very fact is called Self-efficacy. Even in crisis situations you can contribute with your actions to improve the situation. According to the motto "you are the architect of your own happiness" you take things into your own hands.

You always have the most important tool with you: your memory. Everything that has helped you in similar situations in the past is stored here and it is precisely this experience that you can fall back on again and again. A success diary can be a valuable help here.

You have mastered a difficult situation with flying colours? Then write down immediately what it was about and how you managed to turn everything around. The notes will not only serve you when you find yourself in a similar situation again, but at the same time they will give you a gift. Self-confidence and make it clear that you're the person pulling the strings.

Why you should strengthen your resilience

Stress is not always a bad thing. In fact, it's very important, evolutionarily speaking. In dangerous situations, it kicks in so that we are immediately ready to flee or fight. Nowadays, of course, that has changed significantly. Fight and flight have been largely replaced by pressure to perform and a heavy workload.

Stress that is actually designed to be short-lived quickly becomes permanent and can be detrimental to physical and physical health. More than 60 % of the German report feeling stressed sometimes or even often. This makes it all the more important nowadays to work on one's own resilience in order to be able to better withstand stress.

The path to strengthened resilience

The good news is: Resilience lies dormant in all of us. It's just that some of us are more resilient than others. The foundation for this is laid in childhood, but of course that doesn't mean that all is lost in adulthood. Resilience can be learned at any stage of life.

One question is valid at this point: Wouldn't it make more sense to simply reduce the stressors instead of imposing yet another task on those affected, namely learning resilience? That's probably true, but not every stressor can simply be eliminated. Besides, resilience takes away unnecessary fears and doubts and helps one look at life from a more positive perspective. And that can never hurt, right?

It is often assumed that the way to resilience is through hardening, but this is a serious mistake. It is not a matter of taking on more and more, in the Hope, you would get used to the increasing workload and become more efficient. What makes you resilient is recovery and not Overload. Who his Strengthen resilience wants to get involved in a long-term process.

Fostering Resilience: Succeed with these 4 tips

Let's tie in directly with the aforementioned buzzword "recovery". This is basically nothing more than the sustainable use of your own resources. Take time out in less stressful phases Time for yourself and reflect focus on what's good for you.

Make the most of this time and dedicate yourself to your mental health. How much time you take for yourself and your recovery during these phases is decisive for how well you can deal with a particularly stressful phase later on.

Remain confident in times of crisis and learn from it

Resilience does not protect you from crises. But it helps you to deal with them better. Don't let yourself get sucked into a vortex of negative thoughts. Show confidence and don't give up. Resilience thrives on activity, so embrace the Problem solution instead of just watching from the outside.

Once the crisis has been mastered, reflect on everything again. How did you manage to turn everything around? Which skills and strengths helped you the most? Focus on these in the future and watch your resilience grow.

Self-praise is allowed after a successfully solved problem. Call to mind again and again Memorythat you have made it on your own and are quite capable of mastering difficult times with flying colors.

Take time to find a solution that works

"Many roads lead to Rome" - true to this motto, different approaches also lead to overcoming a certain challenge. So the trick is not to find a solution that works, but one that is particularly feasible for you.

Approach the problem from different angles and note down different approaches. Then check which of them you can implement most easily with your personal skills. This is the path that is most likely to lead you to success with the least amount of stress.

Don't let defeats drag you down and get support

Your plan didn't work out? That happens sometimes and is no reason to bury your head in the sand. A defeat doesn't mean that the whole world has suddenly turned against you and put obstacles in your way. Every failure is an opportunity, because you can learn a lot from it.

Go troubleshooting and see why it didn't work this time. You can use this knowledge next time and greatly increase the likelihood that the problem will be solved this time. Don't be afraid to ask for help from others who may have been in similar situations. Sometimes the path leads to the goal together. You don't have to master everything alone.

Give yourself the space to evolve

Life is an eternal Learning process. We are all constantly evolving. We gather new experiences, discover more passions and nurture desires. With each experience develops not only the personalitiesbut also resilience. So always face new challenges in order to be able to grow from them.

But what's the point of it all, you might be asking yourself right now? You can answer this question for yourself after your participation in our Visions Challenge yourself! Here you will find out what really drives you and where your life should develop. In short: You find your vision!

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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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