“Stress is not what happens to us. It's our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose.” – Maureen Killoran
Stress resiliency has to do with how well you deal with two separate aspects of your life: how you emotionally and spiritually negotiate significant changes and transitions in your life, and how well you manage stress in general.
Being highly resilient to stress means you are able to “bounce back” from changes in your life. It means you take the time to do the difficult task of fully progressing through the stages of grief when you experience a significant change in your live. Too often we try to avoid these feelings, which seems like a good idea in the short term, but will always limit our emotional and spiritual wellness in the long run.
Some people are stress "junkies" – they are a person who thrives on having high levels of stress in their life at all times. This kind of person seems to thrive on stress and intensity, getting a “high” from living in the “fight/flight” mode most of the time. It is indeed possible to thrive in this way for a short time, but eventually the presence of chronic stress chemicals in your body will cause a decrease or breakdown in functioning across all dimensions of your life.
- Has your life included major life changes, planned or unplanned, over the last two years?
- Do you seek support from others, rather than isolating yourself, in times of stress or transition?
- Do you have the tools necessary to handle a major life challenge?
- Are you satisfied with the way you handle stress?
- Do you use alcohol, drugs, or food to numb or self-medicate yourself when stressed?
Care for the Body
“Don't dig your grave with your knife and fork.” – English proverb
Our culture puts a great deal of emphasis on physical wellness and body image. Care for the body goes beyond your body being physically fit, it is about the choices you make concerning your health and how you treat your body on a regular basis. As you think about caring for your body, you might reflect on the following questions:
- Are you mindful about your nutrition and eating patterns?
- Are your eating choices primarily conscious or unconscious?
- Are you concerned that you eat for emotional reasons too often, as a way to comfort yourself?
- What role does alcohol or other drugs play in your life? Are you content with that role?
- Are you consistent about going to the doctor and dentist for regular checkups and regular care when needed?
- Are you comfortable with your sexuality and your sexual needs?