Instead of having “whine time” I can “garden my mind” by thinking about something that brings me joy; remember something that I find fascinating, humorous or positive that I want to accomplish. I can look for opportunities for self-discovery. I can use the words “challenges in my life” instead of the words “stressors in my life.” I can nurture a positive view of myself, others and the future.
I have to be careful not to over generalize.
- “Having been helpless does not mean that one is a helpless person.”
- “Having been violated does not mean that one has to live one’s life in constant readiness for its re-enactment.”
- “Having been treated as disposable does not mean that one is worthless.”
- “Taking the painful risk of bearing witness does not mean that the world will listen, learn, change and become a better place.”
- “Having witnessed or experienced evil does not mean that betrayal is an overriding human behavior.”
- “Hurting does not mean that I am broken.”
When I tell my “story” to myself and to others, I need to include the following “change talk” verbs and expressions. I can now:
Absorb Accept Accommodate Acknowledge Adapt Allay Anticipate Appreciate Ask Assimilate Awaken Balance Belong Bolster Bounce Back Broaden Build Catch Change Check Choose Clarify Compartmentalize Confront Connect Control Counteract Craft Create Cultivate Dampen Decipher Decompress Decouple Deescalate Defuse Demonstrate Deregulate Develop Disconfirm Discover Discuss Disengage Dismantle Distinguish Down-regulate Edit Embark Embrace Empower Enable Endure Engender Engage Enhance Envision Equip Expand Explore Extend Facilitate Fend Off Figure Out Find Fine-tune Finesse Be Flexible Focus Forestall Fortify Foster Fuel Generate Grasp Grow Harmonize Harness Hope Identify Implement Improvise Incorporate Increase Inoculate Integrate Instill Interrupt Invite Journey Label Maintain Make Meaning Make Peace Manage Manipulate Master Mobilize Modulate Monitor Move Towards Neutralize Notice Nudge Observe Open Overcome Override Pinpoint Plan Potentiate Praise Prepare Prevail Prevent Preview Promote Propel Push Through Question Savor Seek Self-generate Self-soothe Sense of Humor Share Shift Solidify Springboard Stabilize Strengthen Stretch Strive Subdue Surprise Myself Sustain Thrive Tolerate Transcend Transform Trigger Troubleshoot Try Out Tune Into Uncover Unleash Unwind Uplift Use Work Through
(Also remember to use all of your RE-verbs—Action #62).
Can you give examples of how you can now “Notice, Catch, Interrupt, Plan, Question, Fine-tune, Share, Test-out, Try”? How are you going about “Expanding your coping tool kit”; “Exploring new options”; “Using your sense of humor”? These are action verbs that can move you toward resilience and personal growth.
For example, I can now:
- “Accept the ways things turn out.”
- “Ask for help.”
- “Focus on my strengths and what I did to survive.”
- “Identify what is really important in my life.”
- “Implement new strategies.”
- “Increase my capacity to manage my emotions.”
- “Integrate my traumatic experiences.”
- “Invite optimism into my life.”
- “Override my stress-alarm system.”
- “Self-soothe my emotions.”
- “Share my story of survival and strengths.”