I’m writing this post on a calm holiday without the daily pressure and all the hassle that gives me the creep sometimes. In fact, today is Good Friday, the dead center or ground zero of all Christian holidays. But instead of falling into a creepy mood, I’ll take the chance to open myself up to powerful insipration. Looking over all the past zero points I’ve gone through in my life, I want to consider steps building resilience, factors that boost inner strength and vitality. And for your purpose, I’m helping you to prepare your ground zero.
This point will come anyhow, at the latest when you kick the bucket. Before that you’ll definitely run into situations that’ll put you to the test. So why not be prepared for all eventualities? It’ll make you strong and lets you laugh in the face of adversity. Are you ready, do you build resilience in your own life? With the following considerations let me develop strategies overcoming stress.
We live in extreme and challenging times
First of all we have to concede that we live in extreme and challenging times. Above and beyond normal pitfalls of human condition, basically all former normalities and securities are vanishing in front of our eyes. Every aspect of our existence is being turned upside down, be it the natural environment of geo- and astrophysical processes, be it the abyss of manmade crises or be it the shattered belief in long time certainties.
- Natural desasters: there are many indications that support the notion of increasing catastrophic events. Beginning with the amount of earthquakes above the magnitude of 7 to the threat of cosmic rays and heavenly bodies.
- Cultural abyss: human ingenuity and technical power has reached a degree where we run the risk of enslaving or destroing ourselves. Just ponder what’s behind such concepts as nanotechnology, AI (artificial intelligence) and transhumanism (technical enhancement of humans). Not to speak of the political turmoil on a global scale with the threat of a hot world war.
- Alien contact: The question, if we are alone in the universe, is no longer a theoretical one considering the paradigm shift in the Vatican. Whereas the Catholic Church opposed the notion of alien civilizations for a long time (see the execution of Giordano Bruno in the middle ages), Pope Francis recently declared he would baptize beings from another world, if they showed up.
Sometimes I wonder if we have already crossed the point of no return. But I still believe we can turn the wheel around. Via internet communication I got to know many outstanding personalities and projects that give me hope. With my knowledge I want to contribute to a smoother transition.
Accept the new reality as normal
The first and foremost reaction to such fundamental changes is, psychologically speaking, regression. As individuals and collectives we return to old patterns of behaviour that helped us in passed times to protect ourselves from danger. An archetypal example of that would be if you took a pillow and pulled it over your head. This might have been helpful when for example your older brother tried to smash his toy over your head. But for now this isn’t a solution anymore, least of all in the long run.
Now observe exactly what you do under stress, identify your old patterns. How many times a week do you have to deal with a real stressful situation? Twice, four times, ten times or even more? Research has shown that in an average life there are 30 big time stressf incidents per week and more. But normally we can only cope with 3! In this case most of us are constantly overwhelmed. Since our body and soul cannot cope with all that misery, we develop illnesses and disfunctional behaviour.
Basically the world around you is not going to change. The only thing that can be changed is you, the way you look at things and act accordingly. This is exactly what the latest psychological research has done, not to go for deseases but for that which is healthy and vital, for future fitness. Under the label resilience we can find crucial results that help us accept the new reality as normal.
Building resilience is the first demand
You don’t have to be ashamed if you feel deracinated and insecure in light of all the changes that happen in and around you. But please consider one thing: the more pressure you’re going to face the better prepared you have to be. Before you do anything else, you have to build your own resilience, in order to become sensitive and strong on the inside, mindful and flexible on the outside.
Imagine a bamboo cane bouncing back after a strong wind gust. It can be flexible if it needs to, but after a short time it returns to its former position. Or think of a tumbler. Nothing can keep him down, he always gets up back on his feet. Here’s a definition by the American Psychological Association, APA:
“Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences.”
To have or not to have reselience is not a mere destiny. Everybody can acquire it, because it implies a change in thoughts and actions. There are basically two dimensions where you can manifest a difference: 1) by fostering positive emotions and 2) by persuing decisive actions.
- Say yes to the new reality. It’s the only one you can build upon.
- Be thankful for the good things in your life. This source of power is inexhaustible.
- Don’t let the bastards grind you down! Evil hasn’t got the last word.
Illegitimi non carborundum
- Connect to your loved ones and friends. Personal relationships keep you alive.
- Set specific goals and determine small and realistic steps.
- Act accordingly and take care of yourself.
True resilience has its root in the heart. This statement of wisdom has been handed down thousands of years. Right now we’re about to discover again its full meaning by way of new scientific research. The heart is the organ where spirituality and science come together again.
Heart coherence training is the answer
Resilience can be measured and supported with the heart itself, as I’ve shown on the page Change by Heart – benefits of a positive mindset. Bringing all these facts together, the heart shows very clearly how much resilience is at the owner’s disposal. For that we have to know, that time varies between heartbeats, the so called Heart Rate Variability. If the variability tends towards zero, death is lurking around the corner. On the contrary, the greater the variability, the greater is the heart coherence, the overall balance of the heart-brain-system. And the greater the heart coherence, the greater is the resilience.
Greater Coherence = Greater Resilience
As you can see in the diagram above, this relationship can be measured with an easy to handle device, developped by the Institute of HeartMath. Your momentary status can be demonstrated within 5 minutes, and at the same time, via this feedback program, you’re able to develop the most suitable exercises. You can already start with the one I described in my inspirations.
Good luck and leave a comment below if you like to enter a dialogue!