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Attributes of Resilience (part four)
by
Dr. Galen Buckwalter
on
November 30, 2011
| Resilience |

There are three core psychological attributes at the heart of resilience: strength, meaning/purpose, and pleasure. If your personal life is characterized by these traits, you have the core components needed to build resilience. You feel equipped to handle both daily life and those challenging moments when you have to dig deeper. You also believe that you’re contributing to the world in a way that helps others, consistent with what seems most important to you. Whether you believe that you exist in a universe controlled by a clearly defined higher power, or participate in the human collective that transcends your personal identity, your source of meaning helps you manage high stress and trauma effectively. And finally, pleasure. This isn't about drinking champagne at the French Embassy on New Year’s Eve. It’s about deeply enjoying that which enriches and satisfies you. Whether it be poetry or pottery, movies or theater, having experiences that bring you a deep sense of pleasure are essential. Strength, meaning and pleasure. These core attributes must be experienced on both an emotional and cognitive level. Resilience grows from both feelings and engagement in a thought life, bringing you strength, meaning and pleasure. Reading, thinking, working, praying, writing, conversing – these are just as important as emotional experiences that give you the feelings of strength, meaning and pleasure. The “Big Three” of resilience must be experienced both emotionally and cognitively for resilience to be fully developed. Although it may be possible to build personal resilience on our own, we must have meaningful interpersonal relationships to build resilience most effectively. Relationships provide both emotional and cognitive opportunities for us to develop strength, meaning, and pleasure. This increases our personal resilience more than living life alone, in solitude.

click here for part 5...

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