“We cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.” – Viktor Frankl
“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.” – American Psychological Association
Some creatively describe resilience as the ability to bounce back, to remain flexible like a rubber band under stress or to bend like a tree branch in the midst of the storm. Resilience is not a characteristic trait that some people have or do not have; rather, cultivating resilience is a learned ordinary process and something anyone can develop by adapting behaviors, thoughts, and actions.
Others think of resilience as a “battery” which may be of a physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional source. When our batteries are low or empty, we don’t have much energy or none at all to draw upon to manage feelings, problem solve, make clear decisions, and respond well in both challenging and every day experiences. Just as we need daily nourishment of food for our bodies, it may be helpful to think of providing similar daily nourishment and renewal for other dimensions of our lives.
Emotional stress is common in people who are experiencing chronic and serious illness. Feelings of fear, anger, resentment, frustration, anxiety, grief, sadness, and guilt tend to deplete our energies. Many of these same emotions and others may also run in the background of our thoughts without us being overtly aware of them, draining our body and mind sometimes affecting our heart rhythms by increasing stress, and further pressing us into debilitating emotional and physical states.
Engaging in proven complimentary activities and alternative practices may help reduce stress, and boost our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energies. When we are functioning with higher internal resources, when we can adapt various ways in which we spirituality-mentally-emotionally-physically “experience” our illness, we may better effectively regulate our emotions to avoid overreacting, improve the clarity of our thinking to problem solve, modify, and adapt our responses, enlarging our capacity to prepare, engage and recover after a challenging event.
These resource booklets provide a brief overview of some alternative and complementary mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual practices/activities that may help people renew energies to reduce stress, increase resilience, and improve quality of life. Topics you’ll find in these booklets:
Mental & Spiritual Practices
Body Kinetic Practices/Activities