In last week’s blog post, Lily Jones gave us great ideas to encourage resilience in our children. But resilience is important for us as well. And modeling resilience helps children, grandchildren, friends and relatives see the huge benefits to be gained by this skill.
There are many ways to build resilience for yourself, here are a few:
And Expressive Writing. Here’s how to try it.
Set aside 20 minutes in a place where you will not be disturbed.
Think about an emotional challenge that has been affecting your life. You can start with something that is bothersome but not traumatic, ease yourself into the idea.
When you are ready set a timer for 20 minutes and start writing:
Write down your deepest emotions and thoughts about your challenge.
Don’t hold back – just let the pen keep going, pour out everything about the challenge.
Is the challenge tied to an event in the past (even childhood)?
Or relationships with family or friends, or work or health, for example?
Explore the event and how it has affected you without judgment.
Write continuously for 20 minutes (or longer).
According to Greater Good Science Center, research suggests that completing this exercise can increase happiness, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, strengthen the immune system, and improve work and school performance. These benefits have been shown to persist for months.
As pointed out in this article, “participants who did Expressive Writing for four days were healthier six weeks later and happier up to three months later, when compared to people who wrote about superficial topics. In writing, the researchers suggest, we’re forced to confront ideas one by one and give them structure, which may lead to new perspectives. We’re actually crafting our own life narrative and gaining a sense of control.”
P.S. Interested in learning more about the power of your stories to create a life of resilience, connection, and meaning? Check out my Write Into Joy workshops to learn how to build resilience and joy through journaling & reflecting. Click here to see a list of upcoming workshops.