The Secret Ingredient of Resilience: Harnessing Your Spiritual Energy, Part 2
Have you been walking a little taller lately? Perhaps feeling invincible? Then you must have taken my advice in regard to boosting your spiritual energy by drawing a connection to Resilience. This is one of the most informed moves you can make to improve your mental health and maintain your momentum in life and career.
The contribution that spiritual energy makes to your resiliency is that it keeps your values in alignment, letting you see them for what they are and reminding you of their importance. These aspirations can bring many gifts and fulfillments to your life, and can preserve your status as a good citizen to the world. But to sustain this good standing, you’ll need to continually build that resilience muscle, first by recognizing your good fortune. For some people, keeping a gratitude journal does the trick. For others, it’s prayer. For me, it’s meditating each day for a short minute about what I’m grateful for, before my feet even hit the floor. This meditation on gratitude and good fortune can also occur at the very end of the day, with the added benefit of oxytocin released into the body as you drift off into slumber.
“What Could Possibly Be Worse?”
Sometimes, acknowledging our good fortune can arise from hearing the words of a good friend who has some fresh perspective. This sort of gratitude is even achievable following the darkest chapters of life, as exhibited by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg after the sudden and untimely death of her husband Dave Goldberg. When she and Adam Grant were interviewed together about their book Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, she contributed this recap of an unforgettable exchange:
“I remember early on Adam said to me, “Well you know, things could be a lot worse.” And I said to him, “Are you kidding? Dave just died suddenly, how could things be worse?” And Adam said, “Dave could have had that same cardiac arrhythmia driving your children.” The thought that I could have lost all three of them had never occurred to me. And immediately when you said that [looking at Adam], I felt way better.”
Sheryl’s triumph is quite a lesson in the power of gratitude, and in the amount of resilience and spiritual energy we have stored up inside of us just ready to be tapped into when we need it most.
From Mindset to Meditation
To continue building upon our spiritual energy and the stamina to remain resilient, it’s essential to address one’s mindset. The trick here is to look for ways to perpetually release oxytocin, which is the surest route to elevating our mood and keeping it elevated. Expressing gratitude is one approach; another is to surround yourself with exceptional people….ones you aspire to be like. Studies show that we emulate the 5 people we spend the most time with. That might make it a good idea to consider who your 5 are. Do you aspire to be like them?
Another spiritual energy workout that you can leverage is incorporating daily rituals which slow down your mind and focus it on the truly important stuff. This allows you to check in with your goals and energy states. It also provides perspective, which positions you for resilience. Meditation is a fine example of such a ritual. This 5-minute daily practice can refocus your mind on running a “daily life check”. Until we slow down to look, it’s hard to notice how we tend to suck things up, which stifles our life potential. Often, when I do this scan, I realize how my emotions are what really lead me through life.
In a follow-up article on resilience, get ready to explore the dynamics of your emotional energy tank!