The Key to Building Resilience in a Crisis

Why Positive Affirmations aren’t working for you and how to fix it

Positive affirmations work by feeding your mind motivating statements which—when repeated often—can help to overcome negative or sabotaging thoughts. As research by the National Science Foundation found that of the tens of thousands of thoughts we have every day, around 80% of those are negative, it seems like positive mantras are something we all need. 

Here is the real secret to affirmations: if you can’t find any truth in what you are saying, positive affirmations only make you feel worse. 
scientific study in 2009 confirmed this when it concluded that repeating positive self-statements may benefit certain people, but backfire for the very people who need them the most.

But whilst affirmations can have a remarkable impact on positively rewiring your thinking patterns, they can also do more harm than good if they aren’t used in the right way. So where does positive thinking end and toxic positivity begin? Here’s how to use affirmations that actually work for you…

The Key to Building Resilience in a Crisis

Resilience is the ultimate end goal in tough times. We want our children to “learn resilience”; we all want to become “more resilient” ourselves; we hear about resilient communities. But what does resilience actually mean—and how do we cultivate more of it?

Michael Ungar is tired of reading stories about how people simply need to meditate—or do other self-help acts—to become more resilient.

“Resilience is the capacity of a person, community, family or economy to adapt successfully to challenge,” says Ann Masten, a professor of child at development at the University of Minnesota and author of several books about resilience. “Resilience in people involves many processes and multiple systems, which is one of the reasons humans are so adaptable.”

Rather than some elusive goal or character trait we may or may not possess, resilience is accessible to everyone. “It is a naturally occurring phenomenon,” says Roberta Greene, a clinical social worker and professor emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin. “All people are resilient to certain degrees.”

Resilience can, in part, be nurtured from within. Greene encourages people to consider what can be positive about their future, and what actions have helped them weather difficult events in the past. “Often people have their own solutions and haven’t thought of returning to them,” she says. People can also empower themselves by trying new things, like learning a musical instrument or taking a class. Doing so helps people prove to themselves that they are capable of growth and change….

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