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RESILIENCE SKILLS TO PUSH FORWARD - The Fourth Effective Living Skill Set ~ Blog #14

Updated: May 5

Why Are Resilience Skills Important?

Life is filled with its ups and downs. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from hard times. We often hear about persons traumatized developing PTSD. Most of us have not heard of people who have gone through trauma developing PTG. Yet there are a number of persons who develop Post Traumatic Growth following a traumatic event. They are ones who find meaning from the painful experience and come out stronger on the other side. This self-study will discuss skills that can help you to become a more resilient.

Resilience Skills for Depression: I often tell my clients suffering from depression that if we do what we feel like doing when we're depressed then our depression will worsen. It is my experience that there are four behaviors that tend to fuel depression. They are: 1) Inactivity, 2) Isolation, 3 Procrastination, and 4) Negative Thinking. Depression is complex and comes in different forms. I am not saying that these behaviors are the cause of depression, nor am I suggesting that there is no need for other treatments. I am suggesting that the following skills may prove helpful to many who are struggling to better manage their depression.

SETTING REALISTIC DAILY GOALS: Many depressed persons benefit from setting one or more daily goals and marking those goals off when completed. Please avoid setting too many goals or writing goals that require more effort than you can muster. Accomplishing goals often forces a person to be a little more active and to get something needed done that they would normally procrastinate doing.

JUST DO IT SKILL: It is often helpful to just do something that needs done. If you need a shower and don't feel like taking it one – then just do it. If you need to eat a light meal for nourishment and don't feel like eating – then just do it. If you need to talk with a friend – then just do it. Develop the practice of getting things done.

GRATITUDE PRACTICE: Gratitude can be an antidote for both depression and anxiety. It is difficult to worry as much when we are thankful for our blessings. The following are three simple ways to practice gratitude.

1. Write a gratitude list of things that you are most grateful for in your life.

2. Each day journal briefly about three new things that day for which you are thankful.

3. Write a gratitude letter to someone and deliver the letter to that person.

BEST, WORST, & MORE LIKELY SKILL: This writing technique can help us reel in our catastrophic thinking by identifying extreme ideas and then seeing the likelihood that a less extreme thought is more likely to be true. See how Mike uses this after taking his final test in history to lessen his worry thoughts.

Step 1: Write your worst fear down on paper. Example: I probably flunked my final after caring a B all semester and will fail history.

Step 2: Write down the best possible thought. Example: I got the highest score in my class on the final and I'm sure my professor will give me an A.

Step 3: Write down the more probable. Example: There is a good chance that I made a B or C on the final and I will probably get a B for the semester.

How to Access the Self-Study

This is the fourth blog related to the Effective Living Skills Self-Study. Each self-study skill set has a study sheet and a worksheet that you can access by going to the Self Study section at the top of the home page. Just click on the related PDF and you can print or download the study material. You can also print a certificate of completion with you name after completing each of the ten skill sets.

Steve Daily, LP ~ Psychologist 4/27/20


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