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  • Leah Barrett

Resilience

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of Resilience over the past few days given the devastating floods that have affected so many of us in Colorado. Last year, the state was on fire. This year, Biblical floods.

What is resilience? Are some born with more of “it” than others? Can you learn it? How do you get more of it?

I found an interesting article through the PBS website “This Emotional Life” and want to share it with you. http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/resilience/what-resilience

Taken from this article are a list of factors that support resilience.

Factors that contribute to resilience include:

  1. Close relationships with family and friends

  2. A positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities

  3. The ability to manage strong feelings and impulses

  4. Good problem-solving and communication skills

  5. Feeling in control

  6. Seeking help and resources

  7. Seeing yourself as resilient (rather than as a victim)

  8. Coping with stress in healthy ways and avoiding harmful coping strategies, such as substance abuse

  9. Helping others

  10. Finding positive meaning in your life despite difficult or traumatic events

As a therapist, I often encourage my clients to focus on the last point made in the list: “finding positive meaning in your life despite difficult or traumatic events.” Wish I could take credit for this technique. Instead, I’ve noticed a lot of research in my field point to this “exercise” as a path through hardship. Looking for meaning. Find the positive in the negative. I want to be sensitive to everyone who might be reading this and thinking, “hell no – what positive can I find in the death and destruction that has occurred this past week?” I am not suggesting to ignore the pain in order to find the good. Just the opposite. Feel it and let the “meaning” reveal itself.

I’ll sign off with the title of this blog: Life is Hard. Find the Good.

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