"Research supports the existence of a number of factors that have been associated with positive responses in the face of stress, including
- social support and having a close social network
- taking care of one's self physically as well as mentally
- possessing particular skills (i.e., self-regulation, cognitive flexibility)
"Moreover, such factors seem to have a cumulative effect on stress such that persons possessing a greater number of protective factors are more likely to adapt positively in the face of stress and display resilience (Leary & DeRosier, 2012)."
- and the style with which one thinks about the past and future events (i.e., optimism, pessimism) (Leary & DeRosier, 2012)."
As my teenage daughter would say, "I'm stockpiling skills for the apocalypse."
What skills get you through your own apocalyptic moments? And do those skills have side effects? The trick is stumbling upon skills that are safe and then stockpiling them so they crowd out the coping skills that hurt yourself and others.
Defining key terms:
Social support is the perception and actuality that one is cared for, has assistance available from other people, and that one is part of a supportive social network. Social support means having friends and other people, including family, to turn to in times of need or crisis to give you a broader focus and positive self-image. Social support enhances quality of life and provides a buffer against adverse life events. Social support can take different forms:
- Emotional (sometimes called non-tangible) support refers to the actions people take to make someone else feel cared for.
- Instrumental support refers to the physical, such as money and housekeeping.
- Informational support means providing information to help someone.
Self-Care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure etc), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.) socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication (World Health Organisation, 1988).
Self-regulation is the ability to monitor and control our own behavior, emotions, or thoughts, altering them in accordance with the demands of the situation.
Emotional self-regulation or regulation of emotion is the ability to respond to the ongoing demands of experience with the range of emotions in a manner that is socially tolerable and sufficiently flexible to permit spontaneous reactions as well as the ability to delay spontaneous reactions as needed.
Self-regulation theory (SRT) is a system of conscious personal management that involves the process of guiding one's own thoughts, behaviors, and feelings to reach goals.
Cognitive flexibility is the human ability to adapt the cognitive processing strategies to face new and unexpected conditions in the environment (Cañas, Quesada, Antolí and Fajardo, 2003).
Optimism is hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.
Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences.