True or False?
“I get easily jangled, jumpy, irritable, or overwhelmed.”
“I feel like giving up as soon as I hit a roadblock.”
“I don’t bounce back very well when things go wrong.”
“The only way for me to cope is to shut down my feelings.”
“I’m more sensitive to stress than others.”
“I get worn down from the difficulties I have to deal with.”
“I want to feel more confident that I can handle my feelings and my life.”
If you said true to one or more of the statements above, you may want to develop a better ability to cope. The ability to bounce back from stress is called resilience. Since stress is an inevitable part of life, we need to familiarize ourselves with the signals that tell us we are being affected by it, and be able to take care of the situation and ourselves. Resilience means we are able to effectively manage both our external environment, and our internal experience.
When we are resilient we are confident about our ability to recover from stressors. We can see problems as opportunities. We feel more hopeful, can take more risks, and have a bigger life.
One key factor associated with good coping is the capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses. We need to be able to tune in early and take care quickly. We need to be able to identify the felt sense of vulnerability inside us, not deny it, and be able to tolerate what that actually feels like in the body. Our confidence that we can stay with ourselves in the discomfort of our human vulnerability is the foundation for resilience.
To Have and To Hold guides you so that you can develop your ability to do this.