The Healthy Mind

With Dr. Olga Filippa Nel, Clinical Psychologist

My interest in Resilience was inspired by my brother, who challenged me to shift from the traditional pathology model of psychology to a strength-based approach.

That means that what I  focus on, and work with, is not so much what is wrong with someone but what is right, as research shows that if we build on our strengths, we are better able to cope with what is not working in our lives. In fact, the negative aspects automatically move into the background, as a result of our mind shift.

According to Darwin, “it is not the strongest of the species, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change” and that is what resilience is, the ability to bend without breaking, to bounce back from challenging or stressful situations.

Resilience can be taught – and learned – and that is why we should all work to increase our resilience levels. Not just because it makes us bounce back but also because it makes us bounce forward!

There are many ways to bolster resilience but ultimately it is mainly about mindset. If you change the way you interpret situations, challenges and even crises, become more manageable and less frightening. It is also about action. Resilience teaches to be proactive and take tangible steps to deal with your everyday existence with confidence and determination.

Build positive beliefs in your abilities by knowing your strengths and talents. Embrace change. Develop a strong social network, people who show you care and support. Finally, find a sense of purpose, a reason for being, something that you want to get out of bed for, and invest energy into, so that you do it to the very best of your ability, which will increase your self-esteem and sense of wellbeing.

Remember that it is the small steps and daily changes that will set you on the path to creating the life you most desire.

Live mindfully and blossom!

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