7 Steps to Strengthen your Resilience-Muscle

Photo: Pixabay

The other day I put on my running shoes and started running – although it rained a little.
While on track the rain got heavier and the wind blew from the front.
And although the water ran down my face, something happened to me during this run and I finally had to smile. I noticed how I was running out of my comfort zone and – that I enjoyed it. I felt alive, pure, present in the moment.

Yes, it’s about liveliness. It’s about standing the rain – or the wind. To get connected with your feelings, with the present moment.
And it’s about how exactly this can increase your resilience.

Admittedly, if we compare this year with a general weather situation, you could say that we have been in the rain quite a bit so far and any forecast was and is about as reliable as the weather report ­čśë
For such a situation there is no suitable exercise.
But it is a bit like marathon training. It also happens in small, intensive run segments, but all of them are shorter than 43 km.

How we cope with and deal with uncomfortable situations depends on the extent of which we are used to them. You won’t gain resistance and stamina if you take it easy or always choose the path of least resistance.

Our resilience is like a muscle for endurance. It can be trained – and it is advisable to do so continuously in order to be strong enough when it counts.

The training steps for your resilience muscle are always the same – whether voluntary or involuntary:

1. Awareness – You notice that something is stressing you or is triggering unpleasant thoughts and feelings in you. You discover a trigger and at the same time an area where you need more resilience. Let’s stay with my run. As the rain increased and I got wetter and wetter, I thought “Oh no, no!” I also noticed how I increased my pace.

2. Acceptance – Accepting means to accept the insight on your trigger. “Ok, I’m not used to walking in the rain” or “I don’t like walking with wet feet”.

3. Endurance – There is no way around it – only right through it. Especially in situations that we cannot choose, the simple and moving motto now is: “Face it, stand it, endure it.”

4. Adapting – Adapting can help with endurance and can affect both our behaviour and our thoughts. Can you do something different in an unpleasant situation to make it easier for you? Which thoughts would be helpful now? What should you focus on to make you feel better? “One step at a time – just keep going! – or “Haha, others go to the beautician and have their skin moistened so that it looks fresher. I have this included :-).” or “Oh, what am I looking forward to a warm shower and a tea afterwards.”

5. Recovery – Without question – enduring and adapting drains energy. Therefore it is important to allow yourself a phase of regeneration after such a strain. Your resilience muscle grows during the rest phase – just like any other muscle. I really enjoyed a long shower and put on some nice music for tea afterwards.

6. Learning – Reflection phase when the situation is over. How hard did you find it to bear? Which adaptation strategies worked particularly well? What can you learn from this for the next time? Changing my thoughts helped me a lot – and even brought a smile to my lips (I was thinking about it with the beautician ;-)) Learning: Running in the rain is cool and I can do it.

7. Adjusting – Put your insights into practice. What will you do (differently) next time? I will go running in the rain again and have bought a rain jacket. I am looking forward to the awesome feeling again!

It was especially exciting for me that I benefited in two ways just by changing my mindset in the situation: I felt alive and happy – and I trained my endurance and also made myself independent of the weather in my running schedule in the future.

When was the last time you trained yourself in accepting and enduring?
When did you voluntarily choose the more unpleasant option?
Or when did you consciously stay in an unpleasant situation and make it your teacher?

How and where could you consciously stand “in the rain” in the coming week to train your resilience muscle?

Leave the umbrella at home and dive into life!

Birgit

Leave a Reply