Helping Yourself Become Resilient in Uncertain Times How do you address uncertainty? What is your reaction when you hear bad news about your health or your loved one�s health, the stock market, the economy, the nation�s health and security?
We are living in very uncertain times. We feel great apprehension as we read the newspapers and watch the news broadcasts. Oftentimes we are stunned, and panicked. When things hit us unexpectedly, there is no time to catch our breath.
We fear for our future and cringe with the thought of how our world has changed. We look for answers, comfort, security, hope, stability, and peace. We want to fully recover, fast.
Sometimes our world comes crashing down on us. On June 13, 1998 my world plummeted. While riding my bicycle, suddenly I was crushed by a 3�-ton tree and left paralyzed from the waist down.
I have learned many lessons from this tragic event as I struggle to get my life back. As I reflect on what helped me to rebound from my crisis, I learned much about the resilient spirit.
Within each of us is the ability to rebound from bad news, tragedy, and setbacks. As we process the reality of what has happened, we initially assess our losses and examine how our lives will be changed. We see our world crumbling down around us.
The ability to rebound faster is connected to our resilience - our ability to be flexible, to adapt to change, to see hope in our future. We must recognize that change is constant and we must be open to possibilities. Not all change is bad. We have to see past the tragedy, crisis, or setback and realize that life at this time may look bleak, but there will be better tomorrows. Our ability to vision a brighter future will help keep our spirits high.
Too often people are dehydrated in spirit. They are overwhelmed with the complications in their lives. Their energy is depleted and they are not thinking clearly. They are affected by their environment and the company they keep. They feel emotionally drained and unable to solve their problems.
Resilient people go into a problem solving mode quickly. They investigate the facts of the situation and gather as much information as possible. Oftentimes they consult with others to better identify and understand the problem. They seek the wisdom of others who have been through similar situations. They look back at history and study the trends. Knowledge of the situation brings a sense of power. Armed with information, decisions can be made and actions can be taken.
Options and solutions are identified. They chose a path for action, keeping in mind that conservative approaches are often best. Resilient people have a supporting network of friends, family, and colleagues who lend a hand, and offer encouragement along the way. This group of allies helps to hydrate spirits.
To evaluate your own resiliency, take note of your willingness to do new things. Also look at your ability to modify or change how you do things. Examine your history of depression after a setback. See how long it takes you to seek out information, or to take action to resolve your problems or challenges. You cannot guarantee certainty in your life, but you can make your spirit more resilient as your react to uncertain times.
� Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. would like to read your comments about her column and the impact it has made on your life. She also encourages your ideas for future columns.