Raising Resilience - Kamini Wood

Raising Resilience

Resilience is the ability to adapt well to stress and quickly bounce back after the crisis. Being resilient doesn’t mean that you don’t experience any stress. We all experience day-to-day stress in the form of health problems, struggle to balance the family and work, relationship issues, financial struggles, or work-related stress. Resilience is about being able to cope with stress and quickly recover from life challenges.

Building a mindset to be resilient will help you manage your personal and professional life better, achieve the life you want to live, and be happy.  Resilience is a foundation of life success, and learning strategies of building resilience is the most important tool on your road to happiness.

While it’s true that some people are more resilient than others, resiliency is a skill that you can practice and develop. A huge part of raising resilience is flexible thinking. It is a concept of thinking differently about what you are facing – thinking flexibility represents the ability to consider different understandings of the problem and to weigh up multiple perspectives.

Cognitive flexibility (elastic thinking) is about taking a different viewpoint and asking yourself how else you can approach the problem. It pushes you to not think there is one linear way of thinking when faced with challenges but to develop different strategies to tackle the problem.

Flexible Brain is Elastic Brain

The elastic brain is active and flexible, able to adapt to new situations, improvise, and change strategies to tackle different challenges. The brain changes through our experiences either by strengthening existing behavior patterns, modifying current behaviors, or adapting to completely new patterns. The brain’s elasticity and flexibility allow you to adapt to new situations and reimagine new ways to solve problems.

How to Boost Your Brain’s Elasticity?

Nurturing a growth mindset is the best way to promote the brain’s elasticity. Never stop asking questions. Be open to new experiences and ready to experiment with the boundaries. Step out of your comfort zone, seek novelty, and cherish curiosity. Most importantly, always try to look at things from more than one angle.

Flexible thinking gives you a greater choice of behavior and consequently a greater sense of control over your life. This, in turn, leads to increased happiness and a sense of well-being. There are several ways to promote thinking flexibility, and one of the best of them is journaling.

As you start feeling stressed about something, take a piece of paper and write down some questions about what you’re experiencing.

Journaling as a Way to Boost Your Thinking Flexibility

The benefits of expressive writing, in which you write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences without censoring them are undeniable. Expressing yourself through writing can help understand your thoughts and feelings more clearly. Journaling helps remove mental barriers, sparks creativity, and allows for cognitive flexibility. While you are writing, you activate and occupy the rational and analytical left brain. At the same time, your creative and intuitive right brain is free to explore and create. This allows you to think outside the box and find creative solutions for your problems.

Flexible thinking boosts a sense of control and helps find creative solutions. We usually tend to solve problems using our rational mind (left side of the brain). However, by engaging our creative brain (right-side) journaling helps unleash the intuition, allowing for creative and unexpected solutions. The confidence of knowing that you can approach the problem from a different perspective gives hope and raises resilience.

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