The next time you feel that your life is out of control, consider what kind of food you are. That may sound strange, but hear me out.
She Tells Her Grandma That He Just Cheated On Her And Grandma Tells Her To Do This
When a young woman was dealing with her husband cheating on her, and her life falling apart she turned to her grandmother for advice, because it’s a universal truth that grandmothers always know what to do. Her grandmother said nothing and filled up 3 pots with water to boil carrots, eggs, and coffee beans in each of them. Twenty minutes later she asked her granddaughter what she saw, and the reply was “carrots, eggs, and coffee beans”. Her grandmother replied with “Look harder”.
The grandmother explained that each of these foods had faced the same problem (boiling water) but each had reacted differently. The carrot, at first, was strong, hard, and unrelenting. But, after 20 minutes in the water, it became soft. The shell of the egg protected its soft insides, but when faced with the problem of boiling water the inside of the egg hardened. The coffee beans are unique. They are the only food that changed the water itself.
Resilience is Not a Magic Trick
We can’t change what happens to us in life, but we can control how we handle the situations that life throws at us.
When faced with any kind of tragedy, be it a relationship, health concern, natural disaster, work, or school, resilience is how well a person can adapt to the events in their life. A person with high resilience bounces back more quickly, and with less stressful repercussions than someone with less resilience.
Everyone has resilience, it’s all a matter of how much of it you put into your life. Like any skill, we can learn to build and cultivate our resilience in times of peace, so that when tragedy strikes we will be centered and will better be able to deal with the difficulties at hand.
How to Build Your Resilience
1. Make Connections
As a social species, strong relationships with close family and friends are important for the emotional and mental well-being of every human. When dealing with something difficult, we can never expect to do it alone. Accepting help and support from our loved ones is what strengthens our resilience.
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Take a good look at the people in your life. Do they make you happy? Do they love and support you on a day-to-day basis? If you’re keeping people in your life out of obligation or guilt, you may want to consider reassessing your relationship.
Join a club, meetup group, or faith-based organization. Reach out to that neighbor down the street that you always wanted to ask for coffee. Find like-minded people in your community, and strengthen your bonds with good people that will support you in your times of need, and that you can support in theirs.
2. Accept that Change is a Part of Life
The only thing guaranteed in this life is that it will change. Our surroundings are constantly changing, and we ourselves are changing with it. In fact, studies at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory show that 98% of all atoms in our body are replaced every year. So, whether we like it or not, we’re changing!
Accepting that there are some things in life that you can’t change will allow you to focus on the things in life that you are able to change. When struck by a tragedy, resilient people are able to take a look at their lives, accept the change, and, like a river, allow themselves to flow with that change.
3. Move Towards Your Goals and Have a Purpose
Developing realistic and meaningful goals will help to focus your thoughts and energy when you are going through something difficult. Every day say to yourself “what’s one thing that I can do today that will bring me closer to my goal?” Whether the task is big or small, the act of doing it will keep you moving forward instead of back, growing your resilience along with it.
4. Look for Opportunities of Self Discovery
The human mind is very complex, and due to the fact that we’re always changing and growing, there are always new things to learn about ourselves. Many people report a huge emotional growth within themselves after they deal with a difficult situation in their life. Spend your time reflecting inwards to discover yourself, and you will better be able to understand and deal with the emotions that you’re experiencing when you encounter tragedy.
There is no “right” way to discover yourself. You are completely unique, so your journey to self-discovery will be unique to you. Many people find that meditation or journalling helps to reveal their inner feelings. Taking time to go for a walk in nature will allow you to block out distractions and focus inward. Using your body, by stretching or doing yoga, will help you to connect not only with your mind but with your body too.
5. Flex Your Positivity
Staying positive, regardless of the situation, is crucial when it comes to increasing your resilience.
“Research shows that on average, negative events impact people five times as much as positive events do. Resilient people, however, keep the negative from having such a powerful impact by focusing on what’s positive in the situation, ” says Heidi Reeder, Ph.D., author of Commit To Win: How To Harness the Four Elements of Commitment To Reach Your Goals, and professor at Boise State University.
To help increase your positivity, spend 10-minutes every morning writing down 3 things that you are thankful for in your life. That way, when you’re down in the dumps you can look to your notes and always find the positives in your life.
It may seem like this elusive “resilient person” is perfect in every way, dealing with stressful situations calmly and smoothly, but the truth is that no one’s life is perfect, and we all struggle. All that we can do is take what we are given by the Universe and try to find the joy in this life.
“Resilient people don’t walk between the raindrops; they have scars to show for their experience. They struggle—but keep functioning anyway. Resilience is not the ability to escape unharmed. It is not about magic.” says Hara Estroff Marano, Editor-at-Large for Psychology Today.
So I ask you, are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?
 Alice G. Walton. Recovering Resilience: 7 Methods for Becoming Mentally Stronger. (Mar. 2, 2015). https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2015/03/02/growing-resilience-7-strategies-to-become-mentally-stronger/#531af23e7193
 Scientific Evidence that You Are Not the Body. http://www.scienceofidentityfoundation.net/yoga-philosophy/yoga-view-of-the-self/scientific-evidence-that-you-are-not-the-body
Hara Estroff Marano. The Art of Resilience. (May 1, 2003). https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/articles/200305/the-art-resilience
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