What would you think if a friend walked past you on the street and didn’t stop to say hello? Would you be hurt because you felt she purposefully ignored you? Would you worry you had recently done something to offend her? Would you be concerned that she isn’t going to invite you to her birthday party next month?
Instead of falling into a downward spiral of negative thinking that consumes you, get F.A.T. Getting F.A.T. isn’t about packing on the pounds, it’s about thinking Flexibly, Accurately and Thoroughly, all of which are linked to resilience.
Alternate explanations exist for your friend’s behavior: perhaps she’d just been to the eye doctor and her eyes were dilated, perhaps she was lost in her thoughts, perhaps she just didn’t see you.
In their book, The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles, Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte define resilience as the capacity to respond to adversity in healthy and productive ways. They highlight how important resilience is for wellbeing and moreover, that it can be taught.
Keep in mind that there’s more to resilience than recovering from serious setbacks. The skills of resilience are as important to broadening and enriching one’s everyday life as they are to dealing with major disappointments.
Our emotions and behaviors are triggered not by events themselves but how we interpret them. Gather the facts and be sure you have all the information before engaging in black and white thinking or jumping to any conclusions.
I assure you, the most resilient people are F.A.T…thinkers.
In the words of Darwin:
It is not the strongest of the species that survives…It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.
I wish you all the best,
Dr. Samantha Boardman