What does it mean to be resilient?
By definition "resilient" means "recovering easily and quickly from shock, illness, hardship, etc; irrepressible." Quite honestly after both my husband’s, and my own military service I’m pretty tired of the word, and the power points that come with it.
Pre- and post-deployment resiliency trainings, while created with great intentions somewhere, never really taught me anything that I was able to implement, and that is my signature method of measurement. Can I use this now, in the future, and in areas of my life that have nothing to do with what the specific training is for?
The latter may not be specifically something learned from the course or training itself, but may be something someone else brought up in the class, or something that provoked a thought within me.
And how many of you can say that you recall much of anything that went on during that resiliency training? During pre-deployment training we learned how to improve our couple resiliency by communicating and arguing effectively, and how to keep a solid from thousands of miles away. During post deployment resiliency training we learned about reintegration and role responsibilities, and how to avoid negative thinking.
That stuff is great, really it is -- but not really my style. I want more. I want to know what happens when I can’t think positively, when I am so stressed out that the next person who even so much as looks at me is going to witness a complete and total breakdown. I want to know what I can do from now until forever to prevent myself from ever getting to that point again.
Am I not resilient if I feel that way? Maybe I am just not a resilient person. Are we born resilient? Is it acquired? Is it something we have to work at?
These are all questions that were answered for me while viewing the HeartMath Education and Resilience Training DVD, a free resource for vets, servicemembers and spouses.
I know you are thinking I am crazy because I just went on a tangent about resiliency training and how I wasn’t really a fan, but this backed up my thoughts, and I really like when I feel like am right -- just ask my husband.
More than that though, the techniques offered in this DVD are easy things, things I can implement at any time, simple grounding techniques that balance your heart and brain. That sounded absolutely absurd to me when I first heard it too, but it has been scientifically proven that the heart and brain share a strong neurological connection. It is described as a semi-independent network of neurons, it is sort of like a small brain in the heart. So, when we feel stressed, anxious, or scared, our heart beats rapidly, and in doing so is sending signals to the brain that say, “Help me! I am stressed.”
The professionals call this incoherence. I call it, “I am losing my mind.” Or maybe, I should call it, “My heart has lost its mind.”
The solution to incoherence, of course, is coherence, but how on earth do you sync your brain and heart? I can physically feel, and hear my heart beating, but who knows what on earth my brain is doing at any given time?
It’s way easier than I thought, see all you have to do is figure out how to slow down your heartbeat, and get it back to its normal rhythm, and the HeartMath Education and Resilience Training DVD can help with that.
It is very much like being an athlete, our heart rates increase during physical activity, but if we are healthy it should return to normal shortly after. The more you train, the easier that becomes. This is the same thing, only this can be done anywhere. You do not have to have gym, or even change out of work clothes. This is something you can do at home when your kids are driving you nuts, or at work when your co-workers are driving you mad and in traffic when the knuckle head in front you can’t turn on his blinker.
And they gave the answer to a question I asked earlier in this post. No, we are not born resilient. And some are not naturally more resilient than others. Just like anything else,we have to work at it, and a one time power point and work book is not the answer.
The HeartMath Education and Resilience Training DVD incorporates research-based self-regulation techniques and technologies to give you a better understanding of managing emotions and building resilience, the techniques they teach are easy, they great for any age, or skill level, and they work, even for a family like mine where stress is a constant.