Resilience – Digging Deeper Than We Thought We Could

Human beings possess what some researchers call a psychological immune system, a host of cognitive abilities that enable us to make the best of even the worst situation.

Lara Aknin, Jamil Zaki and Elizabeth Dunn, The Atlantic (July 2021)

We are capable of more than what we probably think we are capable of sustaining. Researchers Aknin, Zaki and Dunn conducted a review of close to 1,000 research studies examining hundreds of thousands of people across nearly 100 countries and they came to a conclusion:

We are remarkably adept at finding solutions to what might appear to be insurmountable problems.

THE MENTAL HEALTH CHECK

You’ve probably heard that the coronavirus pandemic triggered a worldwide mental-health crisis. This narrative took hold almost as quickly as the virus itself. In the spring of 2020, article after article—even an op-ed by one of us—warned of a looming psychological epidemic.

As clinical scientists and research psychologists have pointed out, the coronavirus pandemic has created many conditions that might lead to psychological distress: sudden, widespread disruptions to people’s livelihoods and social connections; millions bereaved; and the most vulnerable subjected to long-lasting hardship. A global collapse in well-being has seemed inevitable.

Lara Aknin, Jamil Zaki and Elizabeth Dunn, The Atlantic (July 2021)

Alarm bells were ringing.

(More on Page 2)

We’re All Fighting a Battle

Every now and then I come across a message which reminds me about a focus I have in life — understanding. Remembering to ask the question WHY. There’s a reason for the behavior in front of you — for the way someone is presenting to you. THE POWER OF WHY was created with that mindset as its focus. It’s this framework that reminds me I have a choice on how I respond to others — that I can choose to be kind, inquisitive and compassionate regardless of what I’m observing.

Everyone has a story.

Everyone is living in their own context.

So, the purpose of this particular blog post is to remind us of that message — seek to understand and be kind. When I saw a recent social media post quoting the late Robin Williams, it resonated with me and I wanted to share it with you.

It’s a personal goal of mine — some days I do really well — some days I’m not as successful. But I keep aiming for the target.

That’s all I really want to say today.

STRIVE TO BE KIND. ALWAYS.

Students and Anxiety – A Reality for Some

Your heart is pounding. Your palms are sweating. Your stomach is doing flips. And then there are your pervasive thoughts — as you feel these physical symptoms your mind is spinning with worry and fear.

Now picture this as if you were a child. Your life experiences may be minimal. Your ability to be resilient may also be limited. And you are fearful.

Anxiety: “An emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.(American Psychological Association)

I’m not a psychologist. Not a therapist nor a counsellor. Nope — I’m not a mental health professional. My background is a science teacher who’s now a Superintendent — certainly not a trained expert on mental health or anxiety. But, it’s something I’ve been learning about.

This is Mental Health week in Canada – It’s Time to Speak Up