A Lesson in Resilience

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A Lesson in Resilience

“Dad, are you ready for a bike ride now?”

This question comes at about the same time every single day. The fantastic part about living in Colorado Springs is we get to do these bike rides overlooking the mountains and under the bluest skies, you will ever see.

With all that is happening in the world, it’s fascinating to experience this time with a 3.5-year-old. Charlie’s ability to continually remain in the present is impressive. Granted, he has a limited rearview mirror to dwell on things in the past and can’t fully process what the future looks like, but it’s admirable nonetheless.

We can all stand to limit how much time we spend ruminating about the past and worrying about the future.

Think about a time in your life that you felt intense stress. It could be personally or professionally. Maybe it’s happening right now. How did it affect your everyday life?

Stress can happen for a variety of reasons. The key is moving that stress towards pressure, which we can handle much more effectively. Everyone is feeling pressure at this time, yet not everyone is stressed. Why is that?

Any pressure you feel is really just external demand in your current environment. The level of stress comes from your ability, or inability, to handle that pressure and research tells us that all stress comes from one thing. Rumination.

Rumination is when we think about events in the past or future over and over again and attach some type of negative emotion to it. We’ve all done the “What if” game to ourselves.

The fact is that the people who don’t ruminate, don’t get stressed. Simple…right? An obvious question is then, “How do I stop ruminating?”

There are plenty of effective ways to reduce the amount we ruminate. Exercise, meditation, listening to music, spending time with family, intentionality about being present, & showing gratitude are all examples of ways to move the stress you feel towards pressure you can handle.

 

We can all stand to limit how much time we spend ruminating about the past and worrying about the future.

Try to take something you feel stressed about now and work to move it towards pressure. It’s not automatic and it takes time to build the capacity to do this well. Starting with something you’re going through now, either personally or professionally, is a great way to start.

Maybe one of my favorite things to watch Charlie do is be “in the moment”. He’s completely focused and enjoys what he’s doing at that specific time. At a period in history when he could be upset that he can’t go to school or spend time meeting new friends, he genuinely enjoys what he’s doing, while he’s doing it, for as long as he’s doing it for. Then he moves on.

I’ve seen him thoroughly enjoying his bike ride only to pull over, get off, and stare at an ant colony for 20 straight minutes. Not a worry in the world and completely engaged in what he’s doing. He’s the epitome of “being in the moment”!

We could all stand to take Charlie’s approach to rumination. Just don’t do it and enjoy the moment we’re in!

Rumination is what causes stress-be in the moment more.

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