The world is a complicated place, yes? What’s fun for one is torture for another. And yet, some of us navigate our days with more resilience and joy, somehow. It seems natural, the way they do it. But it takes more than natural optimism and an aptitude for flexibility.
Three regular habits of remarkably resilient people are:
1. an appreciation for beauty,
2. the confidence to use their brains as limited but vital tools,
3. and the willingness to bubble over with joy when life gives us the opportunity.
AN APPRECIATION FOR BEAUTY: Many studies have demonstrated that beauty in and of itself has healing properties. According to Psychology Today, “Focusing on nature’s beauty can relieve stress, bring us greater peace of mind, and restore our mental and physical health (Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989). Art therapy brings us a sense of harmony and balance, even as it gives us a new perspective on our challenges. And simply experiencing beautiful music can help us remember ourselves and regain our composure when we need a break from the challenges we face. Are you letting beauty touch you every day? It can make the difference between dismay and delight.
USING YOUR BRAIN AS THE TOOL IT WAS MEANT TO BE: Too many of us think ourselves into corners because we only use our brains to solve problems. The mind is an incredible tool, balancing perception and logic, experience and observation. However, if that’s all we use, we often trick ourselves, convincing ourselves about being right because our logic convinces us. And culturally, we’re taught to depend entirely on our heads. We fall into the pattern of being head people, and lose track of our heart’s insights. With confidence and clarity, our brains serve us by helping us process information and integrate knowledge. Resilient people know the power of their brains, but don’t exclusively use it to understand the world.
THE WILLINGNESS TO BUBBLE OVER WITH JOY: This last practice is more unusual. Bubbling over with emotion can feel vulnerable, and many of us hold back, even with positive feelings. But if we’re willing to let go and really feel that joy, it releases physical and energetic power throughout our whole being. The expansion of laughter is profoundly healing. Laughter reduces pain and increases connection with others. In some ways, joy is a kind of emotional orgasm, releasing endorphins and opening up positive networks in the brain. Bubbling over with joy is a kind of cleansing expansion that opens up people to hope, itself a powerful experience that supports resilience.