“This storm is making me tired,” said the boy. “Storms get tired too,” said the horse, “so hold on”.
Human beings, animals, plants – we all adapt to survive. This is the most important skill we could possess and thank God we all have it. In other words, it is called resilience. It is the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. It can also be seen as ‘emotional armour’ to protect ourselves, fight the challenges and carry on with life.
Manmeet, a friend and fellow psychologist said – “resilience is that special ingredient we put in the dish called life”.
We have been learning about resilience since childhood. The song we used to sing during a morning school assembly – ‘We shall overcome’ by Pete Seeger is all about resilience!
We see examples of resilience all around us – a rubber band that stretches but doesn’t break, trees growing again after forest fires, a child finding the strength to succeed in school despite being picked on, people restarting lives after being displaced and communities finding ways right now to offer support during this pandemic. This resilient spirit of human beings is truly magical.
The second biggest entertainment company in the world is so successful because they know just how to make us believe in hope and all things great. Disney movies thrive on love, courage, and resilience. We love watching them over and over and wish for these traits to be part of our personalities too. The question we should be asking is why and how to cultivate it?
Resilience seems to be one of the most important life skills because it keeps us sane, balanced and prevents us from falling – picture a seesaw. While one side could become heavier in the face of life challenges, we can balance it out by strengthening our core skills.
We can do that by focusing on our past experiences when we overcame challenges. Self-care, deep diaphragmatic breathing, reaching out to your loved ones (your support system) and focusing on the controllable aspects of life are other sure shot ways to sustain resilience. And don’t forget to watch a Disney movie once in a while! Remember, the storm will get tired.
Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Aditi Attri is a freelance Counseling Psychologist.