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Posts Tagged ‘Resilience’

It seems like when something upsetting happens, it isn’t usually one small thing at a time.  It is many small things that add up to big things and then BOOM! I am overwhelmed with disappointment.  Disappointment in my own reactions, disappointment in others, and disappointment in the situation(s).  Lately, these situations have been coming at me fast and furious and I am feeling very overwhelmed and underprepared for dealing with them.  I thought since I was experiencing this, I would write a blog to remind myself what I need to do to help myself and hope that you resonate as well.

Disappointment can lead to resilience, but first we have to work through the disappointment and not let bitterness overtake us. Resilience is our ability to “bounce back” from set-backs.

Karen Stephens shares these tips for helping our children deal with disappointment in the article “Disappointment and Dismay: Supporting Kids When They Don’t Get What They Want “. These can also apply as we help a friend who is dealing with disappointment or we can even apply these tips to our own situations.

  • Build a strong attachment to another person.

Who do you talk to when you are disappointed?  Is it someone who complains along with you?  Is it someone who you can cry with?   Is it someone who listens when you share what happened?  Who gives you honest feedback and asks questions to help you process? Find your tribe and be part of someone else’s.

  • Learn to share center stage.

Ask yourself if this situation is all about you. I have a tendency to take things very personally.  Sometimes I am disappointed and the situation really has nothing to do with me at all.

  • Build others up.

Are you sharing the successes of others or do you find yourself putting others down to build others up?  When we take time to celebrate the successes of others, we begin to realize that we are part of a greater whole.

  • Use your words.

Take the time to express yourself.  This can be by talking to another person, writing in a journal, or using art or music to share. If you don’t know where to start, try using the two lists activity to name your disappointments.

  • Express your feelings.

It is okay to not be okay.  We should share when we are hurt, angry, sad or disappointed.  And we should also share when we are proud and happy.  Support others who share their feelings with you.  Thank them for trusting you.

  • Respect the feelings of others.

As we are well aware every time we open social media, each of us has a different opinion and a different way to approach a situation.  Others may not agree with you all of the time, but through honest conversation and sometimes agreeing to disagree OR by setting boundaries about topics you will talk about, you can be in healthy relationships with others.

Learning how to face our disappointments head on will help you navigate through the feelings of disappointment.  I love Winnie the Pooh. The support and love that his group of friends show one another remind us that with others, we can overcome. These words from A.A. Milne say it all when we are working through our disappointments: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…I’ll always be with you.”

Winnie the Pooh and friends in a canoe

Written by: Jami Dellifield, Ohio State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Hardin County

Reviewed by: Jenny Lobb, Ohio State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Franklin County

References

Greenberg, M. (2015, June 30). 8 Ways to Bounce Back After a Disappointment. Retrieved October 14, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201506/8-ways-bounce-back-after-disappointment

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries. (2018, October 26). Dealing with Disappointment. Retrieved October 14, 2020, from https://hbr.org/2018/08/dealing-with-disappointment

Milne, A. (n.d.). A quote from Winnie the Pooh Library. Retrieved October 15, 2020, from https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/6659295-you-are-braver-than-you-believe-stronger-than-you-seem

Moore, C. (2020). Pandemic Disappointment: How To Deal When Your Plans Get Canceled. Retrieved October 10, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-deal-with-disappointment-if-coronavirus-has-interrupted-your-plans

Stephens, K. (2007). Disappointment and Dismay: Supporting Kids When They Don’t Get What They Want. Retrieved October 14, 2020, from https://www.easternflorida.edu/community-resources/child-development-centers/parent-resource-library/documents/dissappointment.pdf

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One of my friends posted this quote on her Facebook timeline followed by an encouraging word to use this challenging time to build resiliency.

My barn having burned down, I can now see the moon.” – Mizuta Masahide

That quote got me thinking, “Do I even really understand what resiliency is or what it looks like?”  

Resilience is “the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens” (English Language Learners Dictionary). This indicates, we are somehow able to achieve a positive impact from a negative experience. So how does this happen? What can I do to build resilience?

Although there are many ways to build resiliency, here are five we can focus on:

  1. Change our perspective. When something bad happens, we should shift our focus away from the negative and try to see the positive in the situation. This is called rewriting our narrative. Instead of seeing the struggles and obstacles, we start to look for the opportunities and the blessings. A hopeful outlook empowers us to expect good things will happen to us.
  2. Practice mindful wellness. Without judgement or self-deprecation, acknowledge what we are feeling. Acknowledging our emotions and the impact it has on our mind, body and spirit brings us more into the present. This way we can use mindful practices such as breathing, imagery, body scan or muscle relaxation to cope with negative emotions as they arise, as well as, fully embrace the moments of joy.
  3. Form a social support network. The American Psychological Association (APA) suggests having both inner resources in addition to being active civic organizations or faith-based groups helps us to better handle stressful events successfully. These groups can offer us support, reclaim our joy, and give us peace of mind during a difficult time.
  4. Find a purpose. According to the APA, when we are proactive or task oriented, we are no longer a bystander waiting to see what will happen. We are looking for issues that can be changed and then taking charge of them. We can help others, create new goals for ourselves, and look for opportunities for self-discovery. Finding a purpose can be empowering. 
  5. Be Flexible. Thinking on our feet, going with the flow, and accepting change is a part of life is key to maintaining psychological strength. Accepting that certain goals or ideals may no longer be within our grasp, helps us to focus on the aspects of our lives that we can alter.

Being resilient is more than just one of the above-mentioned skills, it is a holistic outlook that encompasses many possibilities. If you find that one of these suggestions doesn’t work for you, try another one. There is no “one size fits all” solution to coping with adversity. You must find what works best for you and you can realistically incorporate into your life. Just remember, your current pain or misfortune is not your destination, it is just your launching point.

Written by: Dr. Roseanne E. Scammahorn, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Darke County

Reviewed by: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Perry County

Sources:

Building Your Resilience, (2020). American Psychological Association – https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience

Introduction to Mindfulness – https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/hyg-5243

Three Ways to Rewrite Your Story and Embrace the Future – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/love-and-gratitude/201206/three-ways-rewrite-your-story-and-embrace-the-future

References:

English Language Learners Dictionary. (2020) Definition of “Resilience” Retrieved on April 10, 2020 from http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/resilience

Meichenbaum, D., (2012). Roadmap to Resilience: a Guide for Military, Trauma Victims and Their Families. Clearwater Florida: Institute press

Moore, B. (2014). Keys to Resilience. Retrieved on April 10, 2020 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-camouflage-couch/201401/keys-resilience

Sterling, D., (2011). Five Tips to Increase Resilience. Retrieved on April 10, 2020 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ask-dr-darcy/201102/5-tips-increase-resilience

Virelli, R., (2013). Learning to be Resilient. Retrieved on April 10, 2020 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/media-spotlight/201305/learning-be-resilient

Watson, R., (2012). Three Ways to Rewrite Your Story and Embrace the Future. Retrieved on April 10, 2020 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/love-and-gratitude/201206/three-ways-rewrite-your-story-and-embrace-the-future

Photo Credit: Image by Susan Cipriano from Pixabay

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