Stress, Resilience and Grit
Top of the day to you all. I hope we are dedicating each day to making the effort to live our best and peaceful lives. Today, I will be exploring an interesting topic which is going to be majorly on Psychological resilience and Grit. In an earlier article written by me- "Don't Stress Me", I explored what Stress was all about. There, I mentioned that Stress is not limited to a physical discomfort we experience when we are overworked or fatigued. Whatever it is that shifts your mood from a balanced, happy and more peaceful state to a more anxious, depressing, low or aggressive mood, then that's what stresses you. It can be physical and emotional.
So when we talk about Resilience, what are we talking about? It would refer to the ability of maintaining a calm reaction or action in crisis be it physical or emotional. So despite how anxious, scared or stressful a situation can make you feel, your ability to still portray a calm demeanor that doesn't display your feelings is what we call Resilience. According to Wikipedia, Psychological resilience is the ability to cope mentally or emotionally with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly. Resilience exists when the person uses "mental processes and behaviors in promoting personal assets and protecting self from the potential negative effects of stressors". Take for instance, you are up on on stage in front of a crowd and you are about to deliver a speech and you experience stage fright- your heart is beating really fast, palms are sweaty and you are shaking etc When you are able to still deliver that speech as calmly and confident as possible despite how you are feeling within, then that shows resilience.
Grit, on the other hand, quite similar to Resilience, would refer to one's ability to maintain a very super calm internal emotional environment despite the crisis or stressor. Being able to keep moving and doing what you want to do despite the crisis like the crisis or stressor is not there shows grit.
So while Resilience would refer to remaining calm despite how scared or restless you are on the inside in response to a stressful situation, Grit is feeling calm and not restless at all despite the stressful situation. These abilities are very useful because they help with dealing with stress and avoids the negative effects Stress can have on us and our relationships- personal or working. No one is far from being able to exhibit such abilities. It takes time and effort to get to a level which brings me to REGULATION.
When we feel stressed, it has a biological effect on us-our nervous system is "fired up", our heart rate increases, our breathing rate increases too etc. This shows there's a connection between how we feel and how our bodies physically react to these. Being able to calm ourselves physically e.g. taking deep breaths to reduce our heart rates etc can help in bringing us back to a state of calm which can make us resilient. What we do to bring ourselves to calm our nervous system is what we call REGULATION.
We exist in an environment with a lot of stressors- at work, with friends, in school etc. It's inescapable and inevitable. If left unchecked, it can bring out the worst in us. But it can be managed with a lot of effort and time. This was just an introductory piece on those concepts. In more subsequent articles, I would explore the practical ways to achieve these abilities of Resilience and Grit. I also hope to discuss more on Regulation.
Thanks for reading…