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Become a New Person Through Building Your Psychological Immune System

By January 18, 2021April 10th, 2024No Comments

How can you become a new person through building your “psychological immune system? The secret lies in evolution. And, we’re far more capable than we know in training our brains to stay the course and manage stress.

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Fortifying your resilience can be done in simple steps, such as on challenges with a fresh perspective or quieting the inner critic. Here are three science-backed facts about resilience and adaptability that will empower you on your journey of personal transformation.

You are more resilient and adaptable than you give yourself credit for

A couple of years ago I saw an inspirational quote circulating social media and it has stuck with me ever since — it said something along the lines of “You have a 100% success rate at surviving your worst days.”

This really struck a chord, especially right now. Each of us already has an incredible track record at surviving and adapting to the worst days. We have weathered unprecedented hardship in all of its forms, including emotional, physical, and spiritual. Humans are uniquely evolved towards resilience and adaptability — researchers call this a “psychological immune system.”

“Our brains are essentially social brains,” said Rick Potts, director of the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. “We share information, we create and pass on knowledge. That’s the means by which humans are able to adjust to new situations, and it’s what differentiates humans from our earlier ancestors, and our earlier ancestors from primates.”

Adversity strengthens you

Growth happens in difficult or challenging moments. Before tackling the next mountain, acknowledge the progress you have made up to this moment. “Current research suggests that resilience is not so much a trait but a dynamic, reciprocal process, responsive to circumstances and contextual conditions,” writes Dr. Noam Shpancer about lessons learned during the pandemic. 

Resilience, says an American Psychological Association (APA) study, takes “time and intentionality.” By focusing on core components like connection, wellness, healthy thinking, and meaning, humans have the ability to weather and progressively evolve out of adversity. The lessons learned become strategies to use in the case of facing future adversity again and empower the individual to feel capable of facing, processing, and conquering the new challenge.

There is more than one good outcome/scenario

Envisioning only one good or ideal outcome in any scenario can be a sneaky negativity trap. Oftentimes, we mentally commit to only one solution. If the result ends up not being what we wanted, it can feel like additional adversity piled on to other challenges. Instead of focusing on the result, pay attention to the process. The Universe is infinite in its possibilities and creativity, therefore there are advantages to being open to all creative possibilities.  “Do not be concerned with the fruit of your action — just give attention to the action itself. The fruit will come of its own accord. This is a powerful spiritual practice,” author Eckhart Tolle wrote in The Power of Now.

Resilience, adaptability, and acceptance offer us the key to living and thriving in this new world of constant change and becoming our highest potential. Personal transformation is our raison d’être, and transitioning to embracing the process rather than the outcome catalyzes each of us as individuals.