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Hello Idaho: Developing resilience

"It doesn’t mean that you won’t feel sad or hurt when these things happen, it means that when life hands you challenges, you have the skills to overcome them.”

BOISE, Idaho — Tragedy and hardships don’t define us… it’s how we recover and bounce back from those tough situations that make us who we are.

Optum Idaho Deputy Director Casey Moyer says resilience is key to weathering life's difficulties,

"Resilience is the ability to cope with trauma, tragedy, stress, and adversity," he said. "It doesn’t mean that you won’t feel sad or hurt when these things happen, it means that when life hands you challenges, you have the skills to overcome them.”

Although everyone - even babies - contains some measure of resilience naturally, Moyer said, practicing resilience can strengthen the skill.

“Resilient people tend to be aware of their situation externally. They’re aware of their emotional response and how they’re responding to it," he said. "They’re aware of the behaviors taking place around them. They generally tend to have a more positive outlook on the current event as well as the future, and attempt to take control on the things they can control and influence.”

Moyer offered some tips for developing more resilience, starting with maintaining strong relationships with others and caring for yourself physically and mentally.

"Do things that make you feel more relaxed. Eat well, sleep well, exercise – some of the things we’ve talked about in our previous segments," he said. "Own your feelings. Don’t be afraid to admit to yourself about how you feel about something. It can be uncomfortable, but self-awareness is the key to understanding how you can take action."

Determining how you will react to the hardship you are dealing with is also important, Moyer said. 

"Ask yourself what you can do to improve this situation – then do it. It can help you regain that sense of control. Going with the flow sometimes is the only action you have," Moyer said. "Be mindful. This is about active, open attention to the present. Recognize this moment will pass and you are just a part of a bigger system."

For more information on how to adapt to stressful or life-changing situations, visit the American Psychological Association website here.

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