In this, the second in our blog series -’The Psychology of Surviving Lockdown we look at maintaining our resilience through worrying, uncertain times like now with the COVID-19 virus situation.
Everyone has different levels of resilience in different situations and the same type of situation can affect people differently, at different times depending on the stresses placed upon them. One way to think of resilience is asking yourself ‘when I go through difficult times am I confident in my ability to bounce back, or do I struggle to pick myself up and keep going?” A fantastic metaphor for the resilient attitude its most useful to adopt is the “Buffalos Mindset”.
Maintaining Resilience – Cows & Buffalos
When a storm approaches, cows and buffalos react in opposite ways. Cows will start moving away from the approaching storm (actually traveling in the same direction as the storm). Buffalo, however, will move toward the storm, rather than away from it.
Consequently, by running into the storm, the buffalo experience the pain of the storm sooner because they charge at it. The duration of the storm, however, is less because they keep moving through it. Contrast that to the cows, which hope to run away from the storm. The storm inevitably catches them and they experience its painful forces for a longer duration because they are traveling in the same direction.
The analogy for our lives is obvious. We should be like buffalo and proactively face the storms of life, dealing with them quickly, experiencing the pain and moving through it. Unfortunately, most of us are like cows. We see the storm approaching but want to run from it, hoping to put some distance between us and the pain we know is coming. To maintain a resilient mindset be like a buffalo not a cow.
In order to continue building and maintaining your resilience mindset it is important to develop the habit of working on your Resilience Toolkit. By practicing using your tools of Self Image, Adaptability, Optimism, Goal Setting and Responsibility you will continue to embed your resilience mindset as the default setting for your mind.
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