Stress. Set back. Disappointment. “It wasn’t my fault.” Emotions and phrases I come across daily.
In my role as a College Counselor and an educator, I am surrounded by impressionable and impressive young adults each and every day. I hear the good, the bad and the ugly…and oh is the ugly, UGLY. But in this role I am reminded that we have one characteristic to instill in our youth…RESILIENCY.
By definition Resiliency is the power or ability to return to original form. More specifically, psychological resilience is defined as an individual’s ability to properly adapt to stress and adversity. Stress and adversity. Two things guaranteed to cross an individual’s life multiple times through the days, weeks, months and years. As parents, mentors and educators it is our duty to remind our students and young people of this trait. Maybe it is buried deep inside. Maybe it has never been exercised, but it sure is there.
How do we build resiliency? Moreover, how do we ignite it?
- We encourage and challenge each other to come up with conclusions that do not involve blaming others
- We encourage and challenge each other to move forward in positive directions
- We do not dwell on what we cannot change, but take responsibility for our part
- We push through
- We tap into creative resources to move around the problem
- We have perspective and empathy
- We utilize coping tools when things get tough
We will undoubtedly encounter people and experiences that are “unfair.” If we continue to discuss what is unfair, we will lose pockets of opportunity for positive growth and change. Instead, build a coping toolkit and keep perspective in mind. Coping toolkits can include; mindfulness exercises, meditation, writing, talking to mentors/counselors, walking, breathing and stretching exercises, etc.
Exercise your resilience and encourage others to do the same. Resiliency is within our control, and that is a beautiful thing.