Resilience -- the ability to overcome adversity--has been a growing topic of study since the early 1970s. In a world plagued by stress and struggle, everyone from psychologists, therapists, to clergy ant to know why and how some people are better at bouncing back from hardship than others. We want to understand why some people can cope with stress and trauma in a way that allows them to move forward in their lives, and why other people appear more affected and stuck.
If you look at current research, here are five the of most common factors of resilient people:
1. They are resourceful and have good problem solving skills. 2. They are more likely to seek help. 3. They hold the belief that they can do something that will help them to manage their feelings and to cope. 4. They have social support available to them. 5. They are connected with others, such as family or friends.
According to many people. the very foundation of the "protective factors" --the things that made them bouncy--was their spirituality.
By spirituality, I am not talking about religion or theology, but I am talking about a shared and deeply held belief.
Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives.
Without exception, spirituality--the belief in connection, a power greater than self, and interconnections grounded in love and compassion--emerged as a component of resilience.
From this foundation of spirituality, three other significant patterns emerged as being essential to resilience: 1. Cultivating hope. 2. Practicing critical awareness. 3. Letting go of numbing and taking the edge of vulnerability, discomfort, and pain.
Feelings of hopelessness, fear, blame, pain, discomfort, vulnerability, and disconnection sabotage resilience.
The only experience that seems broad and fierce enough to combat a list like that is the belief that we are all in this together and that something greater than us has the capacity to bring love and compassion into our lives.