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Pressure-How to bend and not break

Updated: Apr 10, 2021


We've had a year of it haven’t we? I know very few people who have escaped the weight of the pressure of the past year. I see it every day in my office; people adjusting to financial and health challenges, working from home challenges, or working in the public during uncertain times. the pressures of navigating work and schooling children from home. There is pressure that comes from an unknown future. And there is a pressure that comes from just dealing with the day to day stressors of adjusting to an ever changing world.

I know I'm dealing with the pressures of an uncertain world. And I experience it daily in the field I am working in. There is an rise in the need for mental health resources in the past year. Overall, people are requesting help managing the stress of it all.

Stress is the pressure that impacts our mind/body and spirit. There are those who like rubber bands are able to stretch to accomodate the pressures of life and then there are those who are more brittle that break under the stress of all of the pressure. This show up as physical, mental or spiritual health problems.

I’ve found that those who are best able to flexibly yield to the stressors of life rather than “breaking” in some area of their life often have common coping skills.

Here a few qualities of resilient people-

1. They have a belief system that acknowledges that ultimate control belongs outside of ourselves. They know that being human is being limited and finite but can put trust in an all powerful but all good God. When we don't have to have all the answers, when we can know that we rely on a trustworthy God who is in control when everything seems out of control we can relax into that sense of dependency. We can trust that everything will be okay even if all we can see and experience is the storms of life. This belief may need some healing if our view of God has been damaged and distorted through any faulty religious teaching or experience. Also a person may struggle if they have a hard time with trust due to the way they experienced their parents ( as we often form our view of God through the lens of our parents).Trauma can also impact ones ability to trust. Basically those who struggle with trust regardless of the source may have a hard time with this concept and need to do healing work in the area of past relationships or trauma in order fully relax into dependency on God.

2. They recognize and operate out of their sphere of control. Resilient people operate out of a sense of agency. They focus on what they can control rather than what they can't. They recognize that even if control is limited to their thoughts, there is great power in that. There is power in the ability to find meaning or opportunities in crisis. There is power in the focus on gratitude for any blessings. There is power in making an effort to brighten up our own little corner of the world and the people we can influence with kindness and care. Our ability to operate out of our sphere of influence in thought, word or deed greatly impacts our ability to be resilient to the pressures impacting our lives.

3. They practice good self care. People who bounce back from pressure know that they need sleep, good nutrition, hydration and exercise to keep their body healthy and strong, mentally and spiritually they need to stay connected to community, to God, to nature. They need to practice relaxation skills and practice living in the present moment to keep the healing systems of their body and mind functioning optimally. Resilient people do not view self care as selfish. Resilient people know how and when to replenish their own well and do not view these things as unnecessary or a waste of time.

4. They look for meaning or purpose in any situation. People who are resilient ask where their gifts are needed most. When we know that our lives have tremendous purpose we tend to handle stress much better. When we hold deeply to the belief that we were put on this earth for such a time as this to be a light, a beacon of hope, we see trouble through quite a unique lens, the lens of opportunity. Looking outside of ourselves and our own survival helps us transend difficulty much better.

5. People who are resilient know when and how to ask for help. They don't try to cope alone.

They connect with others both to help and be helped and this regulates the stress signals in the body when we can trust that others can be there for us in meaningful ways. Again there may need to be healing work done in this area to allow for the vulnerability required to depend on others.

These are just a few of the skills resilient people use to stay flexible and stretch to accommodate the pressures in life rather then break. Of course there are many other factors that can contribute to our ability to manage the impact of stress but if we can adopt the above strategies we may find that we are stronger than we ever realized. Sometimes pressure helps us develop and recognize a strength we never realized we possessed.

This has been a part of FMF (five minute friday) community that writes on a topic for 5 minutes each Friday.Check us out here.

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