Facing fears and active copingFacing fears promotes active coping strategies such as planning and problem solving. The ability to face one’s fears might be facilitated by stress inoculation (exposure to tolerable levels of stress) during development, and might be linked to the optimal functioning of fear extinction mechanisms. Active, or ‘fight–flight’, responses in animals have been linked to more transient activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis27, although the relationship between HPA axis activity and active or passive coping might not be straightforward, as positive associations have also been found26. Physical exercise, which can be viewed as a form of active coping, has positive effects on mood, attenuates stress responses and is thought to promote neurogenesis13.Optimism and positive emotionsPositive emotions might contribute to healthier cognitive responses17,128 and decreased autonomic arousal128. Mesolimbic dopamine pathways might be more reward responsive and/or stress resistant in individuals who remain optimistic when faced with trauma3. Accordingly, resilience in animals has been related to specific molecular adaptations in the mesolimbic dopamine system41.Cognitive reappraisal, positive reframing and acceptanceCognitive reappraisal involves reinterpreting the meaning of negative stimuli, with a resulting reduction in emotional responses. Resilient individuals might be better at reappraisal or might use reappraisal more frequently. Neurobiological mechanisms that underlie some of these processes include memory suppression, memory consolidation and cognitive control of emotion106,107.Social competence and social supportSocial competence and openness to social support promote resilience in children and adults5,13. Mutual cooperation is associated with activation of brain reward circuits. Oxytocin enhances the reward value of social attachments and reduces fear responses. Future research might identify potential differences in these measures in resilient individuals.Purpose in life, a moral compass, meaning and spiritualityA sense of purpose and an internal framework of beliefs about right and wrong are characteristic of resilient individuals8,13. Religious and spiritual beliefs and practices might also fa
Development of Resilience:Factors and ReligionBy Reverend Cynthia J. Alloway
Scriptural Guides”Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD anddepart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, andstrength to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:7-8)“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowingthat suffering produces endurance, and enduranceproduces character, and character produces hope, andhope does not put us to shame, because God‟s lovehas been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spiritwho has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
Resilience definitions: "Resilience" in psychology is the positive capacity of peopleto cope with stress and adversity. This coping may result in the individual “bouncing back” to aprevious state of normal functioning, or using the experienceof exposure to adversity to produce a “steeling effect” andfunction better than expected (much like an innoculationgives one the capacity to cope well with future exposure todisease) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_resilience
Resilience defined: an ability to recover from or adjust easily tomisfortune or change. The study of resilience, or stress-resistance,originated in the 1970s with a group ofresearchers who directed their attention to theinvestigation of children capable of progressingthrough normal development despite exposureto significant adversity.
Who in the Bibledemonstrated resilience? Abraham, Moses, Joseph,Job, King David,Saul/Paul, Sarah, Hagar,Miriam, Deborah, Esther,Ruth, Mary. (others?) Our best role model isJesus Christ. He showed us that whenfacing evil, resiliency isbest achieved when wemake our lives a pattern ofhealing servant-hood. „Humans are freed to make aspirit-guided response toGod and the suffering world;a response that is not fueledby greed, fear, or addictions. In humility we are to give upour aspirations to being thecenter of the world, to giveup our appetites of grabbingmore than we need, and tohave a desire to love "theother" so they can flourish.”(Diogenes Allen)
Research results show:All things being equal,religious people needand use fewer healthcare services; this isbecause they arehealthier, more likely tohave intact families tocare for them, and havegreater social support.Communities with highpercentage of religiousinvolvement recovermore quickly fromdisastersReligious involvementpredicts greater longevityand lower mortality, withreligious attendancebeing the strongestpredictor (and associatedwith 7-14 years ofadditional life)
More Research results: Religious involvement is related to bettermental health, greater community resilience,and higher social capital following disasters(Journal of Community Psychology 2000, 28:169- 186; Annals ofthe New York Academy of Sciences 2006, 1094:303-307.) Religious involvement predicts less functionaldisability with increasing age, and fasterfunctional recovery following surgery(AmericanJournal of Psychiatry 1990, 147:758-759.)
And more research: There is strong research evidence that shows that“resilience” is shaped by bio-psychosocial and spiritualfactors. (R.R Greene, Resiliency: An Integrated Approach toPractice, Policy, and Research, (NASW Press: Washington D.C.,2002). The resilience literature suggests that religious and spiritualbeliefs are key elements of resilience. In addressing the research question regarding therelationship of spirituality, religion, and family resilienceamong military families, most of the couples indicatedspirituality had a strong influence on their ability to bounceback from their crises.
Psychosocial factors and neurobiologicalunderpinningsFacing fears and active copingOptimism and positive emotionsCognitive reappraisal, positive reframing and acceptanceSocial competence and social supportPurpose in life, a moral compass, meaning andspirituality
Factors for building upResilience: Religious involvement is associated with positive emotions(greater well-being, happiness, optimism, hope, meaningand purpose in life) and higher quality of life. Well-being: Ofresearch conducted prior to the year 2000, 106 of 131studies (81%) reported that religious personsexperienced more positive emotions (Handbook ofReligion and Health). Religious involvement is related to a lower risk, healthierlifestyle, particularly among youth. This includes greaterlikelihood of wearing seat belts, better sleep quality, regularvitamin use, regular physical and dental visits, etc.(Psychological Reports 1991; 68:819-826; Health Education andBehavior 1998; 25:721-741).
Social and Spiritual Support =Resilience Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things Godworks for the good of those who love him, who havebeen called according to his purpose… We are morethan conquerors through Him” Suffering refines us though not pleasant and can oftenbe unfair, but as suffering; it causes us to be moredependent on God in a very deep and personal way. We benefit from fellowship with others that occurswhen we reach out in suffering or others reach out tous.
Ways to Be Resilient A combination of factorscontributes to resilience.Many studies show that theprimary factor in resilience ishaving caring and supportiverelationships within andoutside the family.Relationships that createlove and trust, provide rolemodels, and offerencouragement andreassurance help bolster apersons resilience.
10 Ways to Build Resilience1. Assertive Communication - identify needs2. Change Faulty or Irrational Thinking Habits3. Healthy Diet and Exercise4. Expand Your Support System by Helping Others5. Rational Confident Problem Solving6. Goal Setting and Time Management7. Be Body Aware of Tension and Anxiety
3 more ways:8. Accept Changes, Look Beyond Crises9. Learn to De-Stress Daily: Relaxationtechniques10. Daily dose of Humor
Prayer for ResilienceLord, Your Word promises that You “will refresh the wearyand satisfy the faint.” Your Truth nourishes the root ofour hearts, helping us bloom in the desert. Your loverevitalizes us when circumstances threaten todehydrate our faith.When we are surrounded by the dryness of uncertainties,fears, or change, saturate us with Your presence. PourYour peace into every fiber of our being until we radiatewith resilience. No matter where You have us planted,help us bloom for Your glory. We love You. We needYou. We praise You. In Jesus‟ name, Amen. “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Jeremiah 31:25, NIV