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Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life.Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

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A Proven Way to Become More Resilient

SOMETIMES IT IS NICE DOING NOTHING A proven way to become more resilient
Image by Debbie Digioia
 
We don’t all experience and survive trauma the same way. Though genetics play a part, there are commonalities among adults who come through traumatic childhood or adult experiences and bounce back relatively quickly. Building resilience is one more way to move toward reducing internal distress in order to become a “normal” eater.
 
In “Resilience is about how you recharge, not how you endure” (Harvard Business Review, 6/24/16, https://hbr.org/2016/06/resilience-is-about-how-you-recharge-not-how-you-endure) authors Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan lay out a sadly convincing explanation of how our American lifestyle reduces our ability to be resilient. They describe our “militaristic, ‘tough’ approach to resilience and grit,” saying, “We believe that the longer we tough it out, the tougher we are, and therefor the more successful we will be.” This adage may work for the Marines, but not for the general public.
 
The authors tell us that, at least in scientific terms, this approach to building resilience is doesn’t work. They explain that “The key to resilience is trying really hard, then stopping, recovering, and then trying again,” because when we overdo, we need to stop doing and get back into balance before doing again: Do→Stop→Recover→Resume. This process is similar to re-regulation after emotional dysregulation. We need to calm down to regain equilibrium and only then are we ready to resume.
 
In order to succeed at reaching a challenging goals, we need to spend time recovering both internally and externally. Internally we need to take a break, shift our attention, or relax. Externally we need to get away from whatever it is we’re “working” so hard on. The idea is to rest our bodies and our brains. We need to give ourselves permission to stop and do something else or (gasp) even do nothing. This is what gives us the wherewithal to go on, not pushing ourselves beyond what a normal person can endure.
 
When we don’t implicitly or explicitly permit ourselves to take time to recover from hard (physical, mental or emotional) work, we’re setting the stage for mindless eating because we feel that this is an “allowable” way to recharge. By understanding that we need a break—a real time out—in order to resume whatever task we’re trying to complete, especially if it’s one that has long-term goals, we can then choose one which builds resilience. Food should not be a hyphen between tasks or between repeated efforts to complete them. To avoid mindless eating and build resilience, the fact is that we must stop pushing ourselves so hard and so harshly.
 
Best,
Karen
 
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This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.  Privacy Policy