Mindfulness and Emotional Resilience

Resilience is the ability to get back up after adversity, to rise strong and see failure and setbacks as an integral part of learning and growth. Life is unpredictable, and there will always be happy and difficult times to experience. Resilient people are able to greet change and difficulty as an opportunity for self-reflection, learning, and growing and don’t get stuck face down in the mud unable to get up and grow.

More and more, research linking mindfulness and resilience is confirming positive links between the two. Regular practitioners of mindfulness of course have reams of anecdotal evidence about the quality of their lives and their resilience, but as the evidence mounts across all age groups, mindfulness is increasingly being incorporated at younger and younger ages to give the skills and strategies for life-long mindful management.

A study highlighting the link between mindfulness and resilience in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences found that “Mindful people … can better cope with difficult thoughts and emotions without becoming overwhelmed or shutting down (emotionally).” Pausing and observing the mind may (help us) resist getting stuck in our story and as a result empower us to move forward.

A 2015 report by Dr. Richard Davidson et al described how well-being is a skill that can be cultivated and trained. They defined well-being in terms of four qualities or characteristics:

1) Sustained positive emotion
2) Resilience
3) Empathy, altruism and generosity
4) Mindful attention

It’s easy to see how beneficial these types of qualities are for students at school, and in all areas of their lives in a world that demands so much time and emotion from growing minds and bodies.

Beginning the practice of mindfulness in students as young as kindergarten sets up strong neural pathways for resilience, something that so many people are lacking. Having a sense of control over their own minds, and the skills to understand and put in perspective the events of their lives is the difference between coping, allowing feelings to come and not overwhelm, and being endlessly buffeted by daily events and feeling thrashed by the emotional tide.

A little bit of mindfulness everyday builds into a lot of capacity in later life. Help your students invest in their resilience by using the techniques we use at Calm Mind Project – for more information on how you can get mindfulness of the absolutely NON BORING KIND into your classroom – contact us at hello@calmmindproject.com.


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