Day 11 TBI Challenge for CHANGE for Veterans
11th Mar 2011 | Posted in: PTSD, TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury, Veterans 1

Day 11-Nurturing Resilience in Your Life

Remember!!  The 31 Day TBI Challenge for CHANGE during March, Brain Injury Awareness Month, consists of just two parts:

 1.)    Please learn something new about TBI every day.  We will be posting an article daily on our Facebook and website pages to make it easy for you to learn. Today’s article is below.

 2.)    Help facilitate CHANGE by partnering with The Arms Forces by assisting us in continuing our efforts for invisibly wounded veterans by collecting your CHANGE daily and at the end of March donating the money to The Arms Forces. (contact information below) Create a jar and label it:

“The Arms Forces CHANGEfor TBI” and put it out where you and others will see it.  When someone asks you what it is all about, share with them a bit about what you have learned about TBI.  Share stories of the people you will learn about through our posts on Facebook and how their lives have been forever changed by their injuries.

If collecting change every day is not your thing then be a part of the CHANGE by making a donation to The Arms Forces through our website or by mailing a check to the address below.

Day 11-Nurturing Resilience

Yesterday, we talked about resilience, the ability to adapt well to stress, adversity, trauma or tragedy.  (see day 10 of the Challenge)  Today, I want to share with you some ways to become a more resilient person and to share that knowledge with others.  Maybe you are a TBI survivor reading this, maybe you have PTSD, or you are a family member of someone with these.  Or, maybe you have not had many traumatic, or adverse events in your life and you don’t even know how you would handle such things.  Becoming more RESILIENT can help every person lead a life filled with more forgiveness, less bitterness, more focus and direction, increased passion for life and emotional buoyancy. Picture a balloon filled with helium.  The balloon can float and bounce through the winds and the heights and the lows of flight. Now, picture a balloon filled with just air, not helium.  That balloon never reaches the heights it could have!  The balloon falls to the ground and waits for time to completely deflate it. 

You are the balloon, resiliency is your helium!! 

As you read the following tips from the Mayo Clinic , on how to boost your resiliency, no matter your age or situation, I believe you will see that becoming a more resilient person is not easy, yet it is attainable.  Someone with a traumatic brain injury most likley will need guidance and regular assistance to stay on a path of nurturing resilience in their life.  I see many survivors who don’t have understanding support through friends and even service providers.  They many times lack self-confidence and faith in their ability to make positive change in their lives.  Loneliness and isolation become the norm for so many survivors.  They aren’t encouraged to set goals after the “plateau” of recovery is hit.  There is an attitude from others that surrounds them of “Well, that is about as good as it is going to get”.  Something else you might notice by reading these tips, is they don’t cost anything, they don’t require doctor’s visits and they don’t mention anything about taking additional medicines. 

The Mayo Clinics Tips To Nurture Resiliency

Get Connected. Build strong, positive relationships with family, friends and those who can listen to your concerns, understand and offer support. Volunteer or get involved in your community.

Use humor and laughter. Remaining positive or finding humor in distressing or stressful situations doesn’t mean you’re in denial.  Humor is a helpful coping mechanism.  If you simply can’t find humor in your situation, turn to other sources for a laugh, such as a funny book or movie.

Learn from your experiences. Recall how you’ve coped with hardships in the past, either in healthy or unhealthy ways.  Build on what helped   those rough times and don’t repeat actions that didn’t help.

Remain hopeful and optimistic.While you can’t change events, look toward the future, even if it’s just a glimmer of how things might improve.  Find something in each day that signals a change for the better.  Expect good results.

Take care of yourself.Tend to your own needs and feelings, both physically and emotionally.  Thisincludes participating in activities and hobbies you enjoy, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and eating well.

Accept and anticipate change.  Be flexible.  Try not to be so rigid that even minor changes upset you or that you become anxious in the face of uncertainty.  Expecting changes to occur makes it easier to adapt to them, tolerate them and even welcome them.

Work towards goals. Do something every day that gives you a sense of accomplishment.  Even small, everyday goals are important.  Having goals helps direct you toward the future.

Take action. Don’t just wish your problems would go away or try to ignore them.  Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan to do it, and then take action.

Learn new things about yourself. Review past experiences and think about how you’ve changed as a result.  You may have gained a new appreciation for life.  If you feel worse as a result of your experiences, think about what changes could help.  Explore new interests, such as taking a cooking class or visiting a museum.

Think better of yourself. Be proud of yourself.  Trust yourself to solve problems and make sound decisions.  Nurture your self-confidence and self-esteem so that you feel strong, capable and self-reliant.  Thiswill give you a sense of control over events and situations in your life.

Maintain perspective. Don’t compare your situation to that of somebody you think may be worse off.  You’ll probably feel guilty for being down about your own problems.  Rather, look at your situation in the larger context of your own life, and of the world. Keep a long-term perspective and know that your situation can improve if you actively work at it. 

With open arms,

Pam Hays

Founder/President and severe TBI survivor

The Arms Forces

PO Box 981

Maumee, OH  43537

419-491-1555 –email

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