In the fourth post of my series explaining how to add 10 years to your life, Jane McGonigal talks about the four types of resilience and how they help us.
The Definition of Resilience
Resilience is the capacity to withstand stress and catastrophe…the capability to adapt and overcome risk and adversity…to rebuild even after devastating tragedies. Resilience is the “working through” emotions and effects of trauma.
Resilience develops as people improve their thinking skills, self-management skills, and gain knowledge. Resilience is increased by supportive relationships and traditions that help people cope with hardships. It can be learned and developed throughout a life span.
~ Adapted from This Emotional Life The factors contributing to resilience include:
- Close relationships
- A positive self-image
- Confidence in your strengths
- The ability to manage strong feelings and impulses
- Good problem-solving skills
- Good communication skills
- Feelings of control
- The willingness to seek help
- Seeing yourself as resilient (rather than as a victim)
- Coping with stress in healthy ways
- Helping others
- Finding positive meaning in life despite difficult events
There are four types of resilience that will add to the longevity of your life. I’ve listed them here along with what you can do to improve your level of resiliency in each area.
Physical Resilience — your body’s ability to withstand stress and heal faster. The number one thing you can do is to avoid sitting still. I realize this is difficult in today’s workplace, so here’s a suggestion. Pace back and forth in your cubicle while you are on the phone. Avoid sitting for longer than an hour at a time.
Mental Resilience — your mind’s focus, discipline, determination. Willpower is like a muscle, it grows larger the more you exercise it. Setting even a tiny goal (and completing it) will increase your mental resilience. Something as simple as snapping your fingers 50 times will help you to exercise your willpower and increase your mental resilience.
Emotional Resilience — the ability to bring forth powerful positive emotions like curiosity and love when you need them most. If you can experience 3 positive emotions for every 1 negative emotion you dramatically increase your ability to handle any problem life brings you.
Social Resilience — getting more strength from community, friends and family. Show gratitude by sending an email or text. Shake someone’s hand for 6 seconds to raise levels of the trust hormone oxytocin. These small gestures increase your social resilience.
People who regularly boost these four resiliences typically live 10 years longer than average. What would you do if you knew you were adding 10 years to your life?
This talk is the basis for the following posts: