The “L” in R.E.S.I.L.I.E.N.C.Y. represents three concepts:
The first concept, LEAN, encourages you to lean in to that of which you are fearful or stressed. For instance, if a grieving spouse refuses to return to a restaurant where he/she dined frequently with their mate because they are fearful or stressed about the emotions that will be evoked, it is recommended that the person lean in and “tackle” the challenge. The scientific reasoning? Because if they don’t, they are easily setting themselves up for what is called “avoidance reinforcement.” This occurs when the act of avoiding is actually reinforcing, or rewarding, staying away.
Ask yourself this question: What are you avoiding that causing stress?
Second, LEARN a new hobby (see above). Chalk painting is relatively new for me! These projects were therapeutic, fun, and added a touch of refreshment to a traditional style. What would you like to learn? How to play piano? Take ballroom dancing? All of these things are stress relievers.
In addition, if you’re in a time of stress, make the choice to pay it forward in the future for a friend. Drop the pride and resolve to be authentic with those it can help! The whole world doesn’t need to know what you may consider sensitive information about yourself or family, but just remember, it’s only for those to whom God has brought your way that your words of encouragement will mean more than what anyone else could possibly tender. Why? Because you’ve traveled the same path they are on now!
Ask yourself this question: What hobby can you learn? Who can you encourage?
The last concept, LIMIT, is simple but hard to implement, especially in American culture. Here it is: LEARN to say NO. You can’t do everything (pride), and neither can your children. Limit your responsibilities and theirs as well.
I’ve commented to Millennials – my own, my clients, my friends’ kids – that they struggle with boundaries because they have grown up in a world where they are almost nonexistent. To say “no” is much harder for them than it sometimes is for us. And technology doesn’t help the cause – for anyone.
Ask yourself this question: What do you need to say “no” to today?
Start being a personal manager of the stress in your life. Yes, you DO have a choice. Lean, Learn, and Limit. And when you do, you’ll have time to pick up that new hobby and relax!
This is Hope Unveiled!