- Uniting East & West
- Mental Health Benefits
- Stress Management
- Sahaja Relieves Depression
- Other Treatments
- Depression - Natural Remedies
- Overview of Depression
- Forms of Depression
- Gender, Culture & Age Variations
- Diagnosing Depressive Disorders
- Causes Overview
- Depression in the Brain
- Genes & Family Links
- Psychosocial Stressors
- Negative Thinking - Depression
- Immunity-Related Causes
- Depression Due to Medical Disorders
- Attention, AD/HD
- Meditation and Sleep
How to Boost Your Psychological Resilience
We all experience stressful or even traumatic events in our lives, but it seems that some of us are simply able to cope with stress and trauma better than others, an enigma that the clinical community has sometimes struggled to explain. The answers may revolve around the power of resilience.
Resilience has become a popular buzzword in recent years, often portrayed as a seemingly magical survival tool. But in order to learn how to build it, you must understand how it impacts your responses to stressors in practical ways. The terms emotional resilience, psychological resilience and mental resilience are used to describe a person’s capacity to adapt to and cope with stressors, and to overcome adversity without becoming distressed or psychologically dysfunctional. A coping skill is any strategy, technique or tool that we use to solve a problem or meet a demand efficiently and effectively.
The better our coping skills, the more emotionally resilient we are. The more emotionally resilient we are, the less likely we are to experience adverse reactions to stress and negative outcomes when we must solve challenging problems. Low-resilients often find themselves worn down and adversely affected by stressors, and the cycle tends to repeat over and over again.
But high-resilients are not only able to cope well with major stressors, they tend to actually experience those stressors as opportunities for learning, growth and self-renewal.
For instance, rather than sinking into depression when she loses her job, a highly resilient woman might embrace the challenge and view the situation as an opportunity to reinvent herself.
Having high resilience does not imply that a person will be invincible, indestructible or have Herculean, superhuman strength. No human is superhuman. Rather, resilience is often thought as a sort of “teflon coating” that helps us to not only cope with the stresses of everyday life, but gives us a kind of hardiness that prepares and protects us when we’re confronted by stressful situations in the future.
In other words, resilience doesn’t just help us cope with one thing now. It helps us cope with everything from now on.
The good news is that we all have the capacity within us to become more resilient. Resilience is a dynamic quality, not a permanent capacity. You can always make more and you can never have too much.
The path to resilience is a personal journey. We all face different challenges and we may use different strategies to cope with them. But high resilients do tend to share several key characteristics.
How resilient are you? Take a look at the following resilience characteristics and ask yourself how you stack up. The more Yes answers you have, the more resilient you’re likely to be.
Characteristics of a Resilient Person
- “Bounces back” quickly during hard times; recovers from traumatic experiences
- A “where there’s a will, there’s a way” attitude
- Ability to persevere, navigate through the fallout after a crisis
- An ability to manage strong feelings and impulses
- Can manage distress or anxiety effectively and convert it to problem-solving energy
- Bolsters optimism, takes chances — embraces life, as opposed to engaging in harsh self-criticisms and dwelling on negative self-images
- A tendency to view problems as opportunities, and make the most of those opportunities
- Strong communication skills and a healthy social support network (e.g., significant other, family, friends, work colleagues)
- Strong problem-solving skills; an ability to adapt and competently handle a wide variety of problems
- Adaptive coping skills; learns how to develop coping strategies and apply them to novel future situations
- High self-esteem: a positive view of themselves and confidence in their strengths and abilities
- Makes realistic plans and sees them through
- Possesses strong sense of self-efficacy: Has confidence in his or her ability to cope with adversity, both independently and with assistance from others
- Deep-rooted faith in a system of meaning; for example, the bond of marriage, spiritual, philosophical or psychological
- An ability to process loss and grief without slipping into negative psychological states such as depression or anxiety
- Maintains better physical health
Strategies for Boosting Resilience
An overarching benefit in Sahaja meditation is the ability to develop the non-reactive, non-judgmental state that comes from being in the Thoughtless Awareness state in each meditation session. In every situation and more importantly in adverse ones, this gives additional time and perspective to watch the event objectively by seemingly being removed from it and without being totally consumed by it. This lays the foundation for excellent resilience using Sahaja meditation especially in the longer term.
Regular balancing of the inner subtle system and more specifically the left energy channel results in significantly higher emotional resilience – you are balanced emotionally and seldom over react, regardless of the gravity of the situation.
The power of discretion, that builds over time due to the nourishment of a specific energy center in the subtle energy system, combined with a calm appraisal of the situation, helps make the right moves and decisions devoid of emotional imbalances. The sense of gravity in you and ability to lead is granted by the establishment of the innate guru principle. Your innate wisdom, originating from your first energy center, is a continuous compass, guiding you towards long lasting, productive solutions that ultimately alleviate the problems.
Another key benefit is developing a sense of confidence and courage in the long term by nourishing your fourth energy center or Heart chakra. You have unwavering confidence in being able to ultimately land with a solution and turn a challenging situation around. You rarely give up. You are not afraid to take risks or keep trying problems. The fact that the situation is adverse does not prevent them from trying the most remote possibilities out of fear or lack of confidence.
The power of the right channel gives necessary action and aggression to work towards a speedy resolution by taking decision action once you’ve identified the right path to take. During stressful circumstances, you can also find that body and in general, your subtle energy system tends to heat up. This can be effectively dissipated through meditative techniques such as balancing and foot soaking – cooling of the right energy channel and liver. This ensures a constant supply of vital energy to your right energy channel that’s being drained rapidly in difficult situations. You’re able to find that extra ounce of energy nearly always to keep working towards the solution.
As a Sahaja practitioner, you are innately dynamic, you’re continuously drawing the energy from the surroundings and the nature to get insights into how every moment must be faced, adapted to. You get feelers all the time on what’s working and what isn’t. And you have a strong intuitive sense for the right direction and about not taking short cuts or flimsy workarounds that do not alleviate the root cause of the issue.
You have extremely high sensitivity to negative and positive energies, you waste no time at all in clearing out the negative energy in and around you and focus on rebuilding positive energy. An actual tangible assessment of the positive and negative energies happens through the vibratory awareness developed in Sahaja meditation.
You exhibit strong, balanced and diplomatic communication skills consciously developed through meditation and strengthening of the sixth energy center, the Vishuddhi chakra.
How can you boost your own resilience factor?
Here are some strategies to get you started…
Assess your thoughts and beliefs honestly.
Introspection and constant self-awareness are fundamental to the practice of Sahaja meditation. From the day you are initiated into Sahaja meditation, these are not just mental concepts but actual and tangible assessments of yourself through the experience of the subtle inner energy system. Examine your beliefs and thought patterns. Are negative thoughts creating a constant pattern in your mind? Are you holding on to outdated beliefs that no longer serve you well and limit your potential for positive outcomes? Specifically, Sahaja techniques require you to focus on a key component of the sixth energy center called as conditionings. These tell you whether you’re rigid, dogmatic and inflexible in any way. Change emerges from awareness of patterns. Increased self-awareness highlights self-damaging thought and behavior patterns and provides clarity that will help you quickly pinpoint the roots of a problem so that you can move on to solving them. You can use your vibrations to gauge whether you’re harboring negative energy and vibrations. For more information see Managing the health of your Subtle Energy System.
Change is part of life and accepting it is the first step to successfully adapting. Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed leaves your mind free to focus on circumstances that you can change and make it easier to improve the way you respond to adverse situations. If your old goals are no longer realistically attainable, set new goals. Focus on changing what you can change and making peace with what you can’t. A balanced energy system will give you the innate qualities of wisdom and becoming your own guide. These will continuously guide you to aspiring towards meaningful goals and outcomes in your life. It’s always helpful to use your innate compass to reshape your goals and thinking.
Take decisive action.
When confronted with a stressor, natural inclination may be to go on the defense. But high resilients tend to play offense rather than defense. When confronted with a problem or adverse situation, take decisive action as soon as possible, instead of detaching, avoiding, procrastinating, or denying that there’s a problem.
Try to view every problem in its proper perspective. The regular practice of meditation and deeper thoughtless awareness gives you both the clarity and necessary level of non-reactivity needed for this. When you’re facing a stressful event, viewing the situation in a broader context and adopting a long-term perspective can help prevent you from blowing any one event out of proportion. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. You may not always be able to stop stressful events from happening, but you can change how you interpret and respond to those events.
Nurture a positive view of yourself.
When you solve a major problem, take time to congratulate — and perhaps even — reward yourself. Work on maintaining a strong left energy channel and a strong heart center to build your emotional resilience and confidence in the longer term. Developing confidence in your ability to solve problems and learning to trust your problem-solving instincts are key components of emotional resilience.
Maintain a hopeful outlook.
As you experience the power of the all-pervading energy through the connection of your inner self to the cosmos, you are naturally led and drive by the power of nature, that seldom goes wrong. Things often have a way of working out exactly like we expected them to. So, expect positive outcomes and you’ll increase the likelihood of achieving them. Adopting a generally optimistic outlook tends to point our attention toward the good things in our lives and diminish the relevance of the negative ones. Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear will happen.
Use adversity as an opportunity for self-discovery.
Despite being one of the most regular and deepest of meditators, we still face challenges in our lives. These are essentially messages from nature and typically a stepping stone and test for us to get to a better state or develop some form of improvement in ourselves. In times of adversity or loss, we learn something about ourselves, and there’s usually an opportunity for growth if we allow ourselves to be aware of it. Being a hardship survivor tends to increase insight and even enhance our sense of self-worth — we are survivors, after all. Strive to walk away from the experience with a new problem-solving skill and a better understanding of how you been handle stress. This helps shift the fear of failure to a more constructive philosophy, such as: “there is no failure — only a failure to learn.”
Build positive relationships.
Building supportive, positive relationships with people who care about you boosts your resilience. Filling your life with positive people helps you have a positive outlook on life. In turn, as a Sahaja meditator, you’re equipped to be the source of positivity that you can easily pass on to others. More often than not, you’ll find yourself as being that source of energy and positivity that people look to for improving their resilience. The good thing is that forming such strong relationships with your family, friends, work colleagues and community that are grounded in positivity increases resilience in both.
Keep moving toward your goals.
Rome was not built in a day. Meditation, Sahaja meditation and any longer term strengths and improvements take time to build – through patience, focused effort and introspection. Develop realistic goals, and perform goal-oriented tasks regularly, even if it’s only in baby steps. (Once they make up their minds, babies eventually get where they’re going!) Don’t try to tackle too much. If you feel overwhelmed, choose one small thing to accomplish today that will move you one step closer to your goal.
Don’t forget self-care.
No matter how bad a day you’re having, remember to take care of yourself. As a Sahaja meditator, taking care of your mind, body and soul by nourishing your energy system is literally your own personal religion. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Exercise regularly. Get enough sleep. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Self-care keeps your mind and body recharged and at the ready to deal with new stressors. And yes, never miss your daily meditation.
Identify your personal resilience factors.
What strengthens your resilience? For example, in times of stress, you may find that it helps to jot your thoughts and feelings in a journal. You’ll be interested to know that at the very origin of the Sahaja practice and since early days, Sahaja teachings have spoken about maintaining multiple journals that reflect on you, your activities and your spiritual ascent. Or, you may find that a brief daily meditation session helps you get plugged in, renews hope and enhances optimism, and helps buffer you from stressful life events. Figure out what works for you. What made you feel better in the past when you dealt with trying situations? The smallest, most subtle things count, too. Resilience can be built on a mountain of small strategies.