“Adversity, like the grit that creates the pearl, is often what propels people to become more true to themselves, take on new challenges, and view life from a wider perspective.” – Stephen Joseph
Find Your Happy
Every month this year we are highlighting simple practices that we can engage in to invite more peace, joy, and contentment into our lives. Why? Because our mission is to help people live richer lives, and we’ve found evidence to suggest we can all increase our happiness through simple skills that are easily learned and turned into habits. This month our focus is on resilience.
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficult experiences. It is an essential component of happiness because it helps us adapt and grow after encountering significant stress or adversity in our lives. Research has shown that resilience is not something we have or do not have; rather it is a trait with which we are born. The manner of thinking and acting that comprise resilience, however, can be learned, so we are able to increase our resilience with practice. It is important to realize that resilience does not preclude difficulty or distress, but comes from the effective processing of difficult experiences so that we can recover.
Practice: Expressive Writing
Here’s a wonderfully simple exercise that can help you recover from difficult experiences while building your resilience over time. Write for 5-10 minutes continuously about a difficult current or past experience in your life. Try to capture your deep thoughts and feelings about the experience. This is not an exercise in changing the story; instead, let it be what it is, and try to connect with your unfiltered emotions.
Do not try to think positively about the experience, find the good in it, make sense of it, or justify anything. Just write about whatever flows through your mind and body as you recall the experience. Writing expressively can be an effective means to process life’s inevitable difficulties and over time it can bolster your ability to bounce back after life knocks you down.
Want More Happiness Practices?
Our 2017 Find Your Happy calendar contains practices that will help you find more happiness and compassion in your life. Request your calendar today.
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