Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy

Salam Woke! people!

Today we want to summarize a new book by Sheryl Sandberg titled “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy”. This book, co-written with Adam Grant (Originals), was made following the passing of Sheryl’s husband. She shared how she cope with the loss, being strong for her children, accepting support from her family and friends, and learn that many people facing worse than her and survive.

Resilience over Negative Events
We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience, it is a muscle that everyone can built. After negative events, we need to identify the following 3 Ps that can stunt recovery:
1. Personalization, i.e. the belief that we are at fault;
2. Pervasiveness, i.e. the belief that an event will affect all area of our life; and
3. Permanence, i.e. the belief that the aftershock of the event will last forever.
Banish some words that reflect the 3Ps above, for example persistence “I regret that”, “apologize” and “sorry” (signs of blaming yourself) and “always” and “never” (signs of perceiving the aftershock will be permanent).
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can also help: write down a belief that’s causing you anguish and the follow it with proof that the belief is false.
Humans are evolutionary wired for both connection and grief: we naturally have the tools to recover from loss and trauma. If we had evolved to handle suffering, deep grief would not kill us.
Turning to God gives people a sense of being enveloped in loving arms that are eternal and ultimately strong. People need to know that they are not alone.
Keep breathing through the waves of anxiety: breathe in for a count of six, hold breath for a count of six, then exhale for a count of six.
Expect it to be awful. Make friend with our demons. Accept them. It will pass, but expect it to be not easy.
Respect our feelings. When we stopped fighting low moments, they passed more quickly.  Cry when you need to, give yourself opportunity to grief.
Think about how much worse things could be. Gratitude can overtook some of the grief.
Dealing with grief was like building physical stamina: the more you exercise, the faster your heart rate recovers after it is elevated.  And sometimes during especially vigorous physical activity, you discover strength you didn’t know you had.
Some things can not be fixed, and can only be carried..
We all deal with loss, and we will have to face them. But we can kick against the bottom, break the surface and breathe again.
Supporting People Who Are Griefing
Ask them how they are doing, so they can feel understood and visible. Avoiding feelings is not the same as protecting feelings.
Two things we want to know when we are in pain are that (i) we are not crazy to feel the way we do and (ii) we have support. Ask a lot of questions and listen to the answer without judging. Don’t just quiet, silence can increase suffering. Don’t give false hope, just acknowledge their pain and be with them. Speak with empathy and honesty.
People who have faced adversity tend to express more compassion toward others who are suffering. 
All over the world, there is cultural pressure to conceal negative emotions. In China and Japan, the ideal emotional state is calm and composed, in the US, we like excitement (OMG!) and enthusiasm (LOL!). Admitting that you are having a rough time is almost inappropriate.
From the grieving side, understand that those who said nothing were trying not to bring on more pain and those who said wrong things were trying to comfort. Even though option A was gone for so many of us, we were not alone. Opening up about traumatic events can improve mental and physical health. If you want others to be more open to you, you need to be more open with them.
Platinum Rule of Friendship: treat others as they want to be treated.
Self Compassion
Give yourself a second chance and don’t defined yourself by your biggest mistake!
Do you have anything to add on this topic? Comment below and let us know! ?

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