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From emotional distress to achieving my potential

Life is like a novel. It contains several chapters — some happy and some not so happy. When unfortunate events occur in our lives, depending on their severity, they can sometimes lead us into a state of distress. What should you do to avoid succumbing to your distress? How can you cope with the situation in a positive way by using your potential?

Deep down, every human being has an innate strength that allows them to engage in positive growth despite the negative impacts stress can have on their lives. This concept is called resilience. Resilience goes beyond passive adaptation; it teaches us to live better. This ability evolves over time as it is reinforced by knowledge and skills. An individual develops their capacity for resilience in relation to their surroundings and community. The ability to adapt and build resilience depends on certain factors, including :

1. Stress

Without stress, we are unable to move forward. A certain level of stress is necessary in our lives to provide meaning. When managed well, it allows us to become more familiar with ourselves.

2. Imagination

When we use our imagination to tell our story, we put distance between ourselves and the painful event. Rather than seeing only challenges ahead, this space allows us to see the progress we have made and how far we have come. Use your imagination to envision a better life.

3. Self-knowledge

In order for us to give meaning to events, we must know ourselves, understand our reactions and define our philosophy of life. It is a life-long process of discovery that belongs to each individual. It can make a world of difference in our daily lives. Without it, we may feel as if we are just going through the motions in life rather than leading it.

4. Memory

For purposes of continuity and recognizing our ties to others, our memory helps us to determine where in our life history we are. It allows us to understand the difficulties experienced and overcome by others and be inspired by them. Memory allows us to feel less alone.

5. Dreams

Daydreaming allows us to regain hope, look toward the future and find consolation in the idea that better days are ahead. Human beings cannot exist without dreams.

Beyond these basic factors, there are a variety of tools we can use to strengthen and sustain our resilience when faced with difficult events. Depending on our interests, beliefs and learning styles, there are many ways we can adapt. These may include relaxation methods, utilizing a support network or improving one’s self-image. These are all positive options if they help us find fulfilment and discover our strengths and potential.

If the hardship you are experiencing is related to a loved one’s mental illness, our 48 Réseau Avant de Craquer member affiliates located throughout Canada can help you understand what is happening to you and your loved one. Better understanding helps us to better respond and achieve our potential.

Thanks to our partners :

Jean Coutu
VIA Rail Canada
L’Appui proches aidants
Réseaux communautaire de Santé et de Services sociaux
Éric Lamirande
Centre d’apprentissage Santé et Rétablissement
Lafrance Communication
David Communication
Desjardins Caisse du Plateau Montcalm
Centre Axel
Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
Fondation Québec Philanthrope

Allies for the website : Marc-André Cright | Serge Daigneault