Article of the Month; An Example of Resiliency
With the resent passing of Senator Ted Kennedy, this writer took time to reflect on what the media told us about his life. Prior to his death, this writer did not spend a great deal of time thinking about the Senator. I was aware of the famous last name. I was aware of the family wealth and fame. I was also aware that Senator Kennedy himself incurred tragic family losses, survival of a plane accident, physical injuries, substance abuse, divorce, involvement in a car accident leading to the death of another person along with political stumbling i.e. lost presidential election and probably numerous untold personal shortcomings. After his death, I took time to think about this man’s life as was known to the public. Despite all of the aforementioned which could have mentally and physically crippled another human being, Senator Kennedy, throughout his life demonstrated an amazing ability to bounce back. Many would have understood if he retreated to a reclusive lifestyle to enjoy his riches in privacy, However, The man did what appears to have been the opposite. Perhaps, Kennedy's Catholic faith, a wide support system and his upbringing were all variables leading to his strength. Perhaps his focus on his career and helping others was how he was able to get through tragedy and come out the other side. His ability to get things done as a senator in order to advance his causes of interest is of legend. There are literally hundreds of pieces of legislation including many laws created with his name on it. The Kennedy name is synonymous with helping the little guy and Senator Kennedy did this regularly. Regardless of what one thought about his politics, his techniques for getting things done and his personal shortcomings, it seems to me indisputable that the man was the personification of resilience. Senator Edward M. Kennedy was not a man without faults. He had many. Despite all of this, he did transform himself and was able to overcome adversity and thrive. By all accounts, he died with his family by his side and with peace of mind.
Tips for becoming more resilient;
• Develop healthy relationships with other healthy people who are supportive of you i.e. a family member, a friend, a psychotherapist, a priest, a doctor, a coach and or support group.
• Have faith and pray to a higher power. Develop a sense of spirituality. Engage in activities such as attending a religious service of your choosing, reading a religious book of your choosing, meditating, taking a walk in the woods or going to the ocean or listening to music.
• Learn how to reframe. Reframing is at the heart of resilience. It is about having a healthy perspective. It is a way of shifting focus from the cup half empty to the cup half full. Reframing helps one become optimistic. For example is it possible to view an error as a potential learning opportunity instead of just a failure?
• Express gratitude, whenever possible. We too often take our lives for granted. Learn to appreciate and savor the wonderful things in life from people to food, from nature to a smile.
• Remember the mind-body connection. What we do-or don’t do-with our bodies influences our mind. Regular exercise, adequate sleep and healthy eating habits lead to both physical and mental health.
I am Licensed Psychotherapist, Life Coach and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I specialize in showing both adolescents and adults like you how to reach their full potential. I help people go from feeling struck in some areas of their lives to achieving their own definition of success using different therapeutic techniques.
My website is www.newtoncounselingcenter.com