Monday, January 3, 2011

Resilency: Bouncing Back When Bad Things Happen

The creator of Rational Emotive Therapy(RET),Albert Ellis, Ph.D., taught us that life is unfair,everybody doesn't have to like you, and other rational ways to look at human relationships and life situations.It seems into every life a certain amount of bad stuff happens: loss,betrayal,financial distress,illness,disappointment and rejection.What is fascinating to me is the resilency of the human spirit, and how people can grow through these unwanted and unwished-for challenges.

As quickly as possible, I work with patients to move out of a victim role. It is healthy to grieve unexpected loss with its stages of grief. Most people experience shock,anger,sadness,and a period of wondering "what if"?(called bargaining) Actively working out these feelings is very important and can be done through talking it through,listening to music, and active exercise.Dealing with grief as soon as possible is always easier and less complicated than shutting it inside where it can remain unresolved. The goal is, over time, to withdraw the emotional energy in the lost dream or relationship, accept the reality of the loss, and gradually reapply that emotional energy in new places in your life.

Grief is not the same as depression. Grief is a normal reaction to a loss.Grief does not normally impact self-esteem as depression so often does. Grief hits in waves of intensity,and then passes. Getting support around you--- friends, family and a good therapist, can strengthen you and help you on your journey through the grief process and successfully moving forward with your life as you resolve the grief.

It is essential to look for your part in any situation, and learn any lessons possible, so that you do not need to repeat the lesson.Bones,when broken,can heal and be even stronger at that place. In a similar fashion, human beings can weather the storms of life, but actively seek to become stronger, wiser and more gentle in the process of coping with unexpected challenge and loss. Be like the willow, and bend and adapt,and not like the oak which breaks instead.In the end, all we can really control is our responses to some life events. We can choose to grow and move on in our lives with as much heart,grace,and resilence as we can.

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