Ending and Beginning: Resilience
As we embrace June, a month symbolizing both endings and beginnings, it’s a perfect time to reflect on building resilience. Resilience is often defined as our ability to bounce back after facing adversity, whether the change is positive, negative or neutral. It’s fascinating how various situations impact us differently. Some we breeze through, while others challenge us profoundly. This month, I’m personally preparing for a lot of changes. Let’s dive into the concept of resilience and how we can harness it.

Alexander Graham Bell was a great gift to all with telephones and now cell phones, which have changed our lives. Some of us may miss the old days of having time to talk on the phone while others see it as an opportunity to be efficient, effective and connected to many people at any given time. These different perspectives on a single change continuously flow. Our attitude and resilience in dealing with change will drive us to find the silver lining in the new or hold on to the resentment of the old.

Our Bodies are Resilient
Our body maintains stability and equilibrium through various feedback mechanisms, ensuring that internal conditions adjust appropriately to external challenges. Our bodies are extremely busy continuously striving to survive and thrive. Our immune system seeks homeostasis maintaining a balance that allows it to respond effectively to pathogens while avoiding overreaction that can lead to autoimmune disorders. Our brains and bodies brilliantly work together to maintain resilience. As we adapt to stress and shift old habits of reacting to life, we change our neuropathways with neuroplasticity. Understanding how our body responds to resilience can guide our growth to enhance well-being and health.

Building New Habits
It’s key for our brains and bodies to adapt new habits to support our resilience. We often hear reducing cortisol levels can be improved through various lifestyle and therapeutic approaches, but do we do them? How often do you hear yourself say, “I need to journal more often,” “I must see a nutritionist” or “I plan to start that new exercise program tomorrow”? What can help you shift from thinking about it to doing it? This may be another ending and beginning. Look at how it feels to keep thinking about something and not doing it. What happens to your self-esteem/self-respect/self-talk? What price do you pay by thinking you will and then you don’t? What would be more honest?

Values and Resilience
Being honest with ourselves in our self-talk can support us in living up to our values. Research has discovered connecting to personal values helps build resilience by reducing stress responses and motivating proactive coping during challenging events (Patterson & Kelleher, 2005; Creswell et al., 2005). For instance, a father who values “love” and “care” may find the strength to bounce back from unemployment to provide for his children. Affirming values reduces threat perception, rumination and defensive reactions to stressors (Keough, 1998; Sherman & Cohen, 2002; Steele, 1988). Furthermore, short writing exercises affirming values have long-lasting effects. Stinson et al (2011) found a fifteen-minute values affirmation exercise continued to reduce relationship insecurity for up to four weeks.

Looking at our values and aligning our life with our values can strengthen our resilience. Finding our core values helps us live authentically. —The Curious Voyage to Authenticity.

How do you face life’s changes? Do you find the silver lining?
When faced with significant endings—like a job loss or the dissolution of a relationship—it’s natural to feel disappointment and pain. However, these moments often carry the seeds of unexpected positives. They give you the opportunity to assess what matters. For example, a job loss can be distressing but also opens the door to exploring what matters for your creative expression. Or ending a relationship may allow you to look at your needs and desires, how were they met or not and what you want different going forward. What support do you need to help anchor you in the new? Relocating to a new place, despite the initial upheaval, can enrich your life with new experiences, cultures and people. It’s a chance to embrace a fresh perspective.

For any of these and other examples, the in-between transition time can be challenging. How do we manage the grief and loss, then open to the unexpected new? I often describe to my clients that it’s like moving from one place to another. The in-between time can challenge us to go back to what is familiar, even though we know it’s not the best for us. Take time to grieve and embrace. Years ago, I moved from one state to another. I was great at saying goodbye to my community with parties and performances on our life given by community members before the move, but I did not consciously embrace the new. It took a time of feeling the sadness and grief before I realized that piece was missing. Once I took the time to have a celebration and create a practice to welcoming the new, I felt more grounded. Taking the time to embrace the new helped my resilience.

The Significance of Endings
These moments, filled with grief and uncertainty, are ripe with the potential for deep transformation. Encouraging acceptance and reflection, validating complex emotions, and suggesting rituals of closure can help navigate these challenging times. Reflect on your recent endings and beginnings. How have they shaped your professional and personal growth? Share your stories and insights with us on Cynthasis Facebook. Let’s learn together some effective skills. I will share more quotes and stories along with you as things unravel this June. As you face transitions, remember to prioritize self-care, view endings as opportunities for professional growth and lean on your community for support and inspiration.








Seligman, M. E. P. (2006). Learned optimism: How to change your mind and your life. New York: Vintage Books

Creswell JD, Welch WT, Taylor SE, Sherman DK, Gruenewald TL, Mann T. Affirmation of personal values buffers neuroendocrine and psychological stress responses. Psychol Sci. 2005 Nov;16(11):846-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01624.x. PMID: 16262767.

Keough, K.A. (1998). When the self is at stake: Integrating the self into stress and physical health research (Doctoral dissertation, Stanford University, 1998). Dissertation Abstracts International, 58, 3959.

Stinson, D. A., Logel, C., Shepherd, S., & Zanna, M. P. (2011). Rewriting the self-fulfilling prophecy of social rejection: Self-affirmation improves relational securityand social behavior up to 2 months later. Psychological science, 22, 1145-1149.

Steele, C.M. (1988). The psychology of self-affirmation: Sustaining the integrity of the self. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology: Vol. 21.

Social psychological studies of the self: Perspectives and programs (pp. 261–302). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.



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