5 Ways to Build Resilience and Conquer Adversity
Our diminishing resilience and decreasing psychological threshold of handling pain and struggle is, in turn, making everything look like a crisis.
We are making a catastrophe out of everything, getting offended at the drop of a hat, mostly for no legitimate reason other than our own ego-filled state of being.
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During 2020, some have lost loved ones, some are working on the front lines, while other's don't have enough food or a safe place to live.
If you are not one of these people, you may feel gratitude, and maybe a bit of guilt. You may feel uncomfortable or even shameful to be enjoying comforts while others are in distress.
Guilt is often counterproductive. It makes us feel paralyzed. However, when we are in this state, we are not helping anyone.
One Buddhist teaching could be helpful as one wrestles with this problem. It's found in a discourse called the Sallatha Sutta, known as "The Arrow." When someone has a painful experience, like a physical illness or witnessing suffering, it's as if the world has shot an arrow into the person. The pain is normal. When one tries to make up a story around the pain, you shoot a second arrow into yourself.
The second arrow can manifest as shame ("I'm such a weak person...") anger ("How dare they...!"), guilt ("I don't deserve to..."), rumination ("If only...") or catastrophizing (I'm going to die, too!").
The second arrow is self-inflicted; in other words, it's optional and the cause of your suffering. If you are brave enough to look at the initial painful feeling, you can avoid making up a story around that second feeling that will cause you to suffer.
The way we talk to ourselves about the events in our lives is subject to the same laws of learning and habit formation that physical behaviors are.
That means we can learn to talk to ourselves in specific ways just like we can learn to tie our shoes or say please and thank you.
Our emotions are always mediated by some form of thinking.
If our thoughts determine how we feel, that means how we habitually think will determine how we habitually feel.
It happens when we assume we understand what other people are thinking without any real evidence.
It is a failure of imagination because we often only imagine and focus on the negative aspects.
... and boils down to what we give up to attain something. Our mindsets are inclined towards pleasure and resistive towards pain. We normally like to think in terms of gaining, success, and acceptance.
We forget that there are always two sides of the coin and loss, failure and rejection come hand in hand whether we like it or not.
Decisions are a cost-benefit analysis of risking something small for the opportunity to gain something big.
Trade-offs are not something as simple as flipping a coin. Our values guide us towards what we want in life, and it is not the same for all. Example: Buying a house has a trade-off of mortgage for the next ten or more years. This is subjective and depends on what we value in life.
Indecisive people suffer because they don’t know their inner values and what they care about.