Can Tragedy Teach Resilience

canada goose clearance sale Aug. 22, 2018 On the morning of Dec. 14, 2012, Michele Gay decided not to put her daughter Josephine on the school bus. The first grader was recovering from a concussion, and Michele thought a little more rest at home might be good for her. But Joey, as she was affectionately called, really wanted to go to school that day. So Gay relented and drove her in a little late. canada goose clearance sale

canada goose uk black friday The mother of three dropped her youngest daughter off at Sandy Hook Elementary School just minutes before a gunman burst in. His massacre left 20 first graders and six adults dead. canada goose uk black friday

For hours, Michele Gay waited with about 25 other families in the banquet room of the local firehouse for their children to appear. Since Joey had autism, was non verbal and had an aide with her at all times, Gay believed her youngest had likely been taken to another location and would be found soon.

Instead, canada goose outlet she felt blindsided when police finally told her Joey was dead.

“When they told us all at once, it was a disaster. canada goose outlet us At that point there was no hearing any more information. It was obviously too much for any of us to handle,” Gay recalls.

cheap canada goose uk Gay and her canada goose outlet vip husband went to their car, distraught, and prayed. Then they drove home, without their little girl who loved the color purple, “Fancy Nancy” books and watching football with her family. Joey had turned 7 just 3 days earlier and the whole family had been excited for her birthday party scheduled for the next day. The purple cupcakes already sat in their refrigerator. cheap canada goose uk

While much of that day is a blur, Gay says after hours of trying canada goose outlet usa to hold it together for her family, she had a moment of clarity while sitting in her car in the school parking lot before heading home.

“I remember having the realization that canada goose outlet store uk I would fall apart soon,” Gay says. But she also vividly recalls vowing to herself that one day when she picked herself up again, she would use the pain she was feeling to help others.

“I remember making this choice almost like a promise to myself and my daughter,” she says.

Six months laterher family canada goose outlet montreal teamedup with another Sandy Hook family to form Safe and Sound Schools. The nonprofit serves as a national network of school tragedy survivors and experts onall aspects of school safety, including mental health, physical safety, culture, and climate.

canada goose factory sale “Safe and Sound is part of our healing and resilience journey. It is about looking at the shattered remains in front of you and trying to find a way to re assemble them into official canada goose outlet something useable for yourself and others,” Gay explains. “Resilience for us has meant taking control of these really difficult circumstances by choosing to help others.” canada goose factory sale

uk canada goose outlet The Rise of Resilience Research uk canada goose outlet

Canada Goose online The idea that you have the power to build your resilience is fairly new, but it’s being widely studied and embraced for its benefits to health and overall well being. Canada Goose online

“Originally we thought people were born with characteristics of resilience or a more positive outlook. But now we understand those are things you can definitely learn to do,” says Anita Thomas, PhD, dean of the College of Applied Behavioral Sciences at the University of Indianapolis.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity and deal with life’s downturns and challenges even when those events are so catastrophic, surprising, overwhelming, or devastating that they seem impossible to recover from.

Canada Goose Online It isn’t the absence of stress or suffering, but how you adapt and deal with it. Canada Goose Online

“Resilience canada goose outlet toronto location is not a trait. It’s not like brown eyes that you have or don’t. It truly is a mental muscle that can be learned and practiced and incorporated into everyday life,” says Joanne Pedro Carroll, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Rochester, NY, who’s written several articles on resilience canada goose outlet store toronto and a book that talks about it.

Canada Goose sale A growing body of research now looks at resilience as a way to retrain your brain to help you handle everything from major crises to daily life stress. Studies show it has benefited health, well being, and stress management for cancer survivors, medical providers, college students, immigrants, office workers, and others. Canada Goose sale

“Resilience is the core strength you use to lift the cognitive and emotional load of life. “Decreasing the load isn’t easy or always possible, but the second option increasing your resilience is.”

Sood and his team have done more than 20 clinical trials on resilience and report that while about 50% is genetic, the other half is acquired, to a great extent, through your choices.”The cutting edge discovery is that resilience can be moved,” Sood says. “By training, we can enhance people’s resilience. That to me is where there is the greatest impact and interest of hospitals and doctors and patients.”

He says several studies have shown that working to boost a person’s resilience makes a measurable difference in their stress, anxiety, emotional health, mindful attention, and overall quality of life.

canadian goose jacket “Even a small improvement in resilience is associated with much larger improvement in stress measures,” Sood explains. “You can improve your resilience by 10 or 20%, and for each unit of improvement, you decrease your stress by 20 to 30%. That means if your resilience goes up 10%, your stress can go down 30% or more.” canadian goose jacket

The Basics of Resilience Training

There’s no one type of resilience training. It varies greatly in terms of content and length. But in general, itinvolves helping people cultivate several principles in their daily life, includinggratitude, self compassion and forgiveness, as well as the ability to let go of the uncontrollable, to focus on the positive rather than the negative, and to find meaning in life. Getting there involves strategies like deep breathing, meditation, relaxation, goal setting, and mindfulness.

“We spend a lot of our days on automatic pilot, so it’s only when we get caught with something that is unexpected or surprising or traumatic that our coping styles or lack thereof come into play,” Thomas says. “Resilience is about catching your thoughts, changing the way you think, and learning to develop an action plan to figure out the best way to move forward during stressful times.”

Margie Ruttenberg, 54, of Pittsburgh says her resilience has grown gradually since she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma that has come back about once a year for 9 years. Resilience hasn’t changed her diagnosis, but she says it has been an important way to help her cope. “Cancer has taught me that I am more resilient and stronger than I thought,” she says. “In the beginning, I canada goose outlet london uk spent some time questioning why this was happening to me. But then I realized this isn’t my fault. You can either fight your challenges or run from them, and I decided I’m going to be resilient. I’m not going to run.”

Researchers say that is a key part of resilience learning to take control of your thoughts by being mindful rather than letting your mind wander.

“We help people become intentional and engage their brain to make it stronger,” Sood explains. “Studies show the average person’s mind wanders 50 to 90% of the time, so we help people become aware of how, from a neuroscience perspective, they are depleting themselves when they let this happen.”

Researchers stress that resilience training should not take the place of mental health services or needed medical treatment. There are also critics who say the field needs more consistency and an agreed upon definition of resilience. Others believe progress is hard to verify and that some studies cast doubt on just how much improvement training produces.

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