Individuals, families, communities and even organizations are impacted by trauma and adversity. It effects the way we develop and how we respond to stressful situations. But this can be mitigated through resiliency. Resiliency refers to the cognitive, emotional and relational skills needed to face challenges and achieve a growth outcome. To support resiliency in children and families we need resilient relationships, resilient organizations and resilient communities.
Building resiliency requires developing and practicing essential and practical skills. But it begins with understanding how our brain works in relation to our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. This involves examining mindsets (perceptions and beliefs) and emotional triggers that might be getting in our way.
Here are a few questions to help you get started:
- How is my current mindset effecting the way I interpret experiences or information? Our brain has a way of assimilating new information into what it already knows or believes. Sometimes this can distort our perception of a new situation.
- What is the emotion that I experience in this situation and is it coming from a real or perceived threat? Emotions like fear, anxiety, jealousy, shame, or anger are associated with situations interpreted as threats to our amygdala. This triggers a defensive response that may or may not be helpful.
- What are some of my responses to situations that keep me from achieving my goals? As our neuronal pathways become stronger our responses become patterned and almost automatic. The good news is our brain is changeable! New pathways can be formed and strengthened through repetition.