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How Resilient Are You? Take the Test!

How Resilient Are You? Take the Test!

    When faced with a crisis, some of us bounce back just like a fully inflated ball while others of us hit the ground with a thud and stay there, totally deflated.

    How good are you at bouncing back? Just how resilient are you?

    Take this test* to get your answer!

    To get a good idea of how resilient you are, be as honest as possible when taking the test!

    For each item, fill in the blank at the end of the item using the following scale:

     

    1 = Absolutely disagree

    2 = Disagree

    3 = Neutral

    4 = Agree

    5 = Absolutely agree

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    1. When confronted with a crisis, I usually start working on a solution right away rather than first just hoping it will go away. _____

    2. I don’t worry too much about the future. _____

    3. I am not embarrassed to tell my friends and family when something bad has happened to me. _____

    4. Every time a crisis occurs, I can easily remember that I’ve made it through bad things before. _____

    5. When something bad happens in my life, I don’t spend a lot of time wishing I had done something differently or thinking constantly about the bad thing. ____

    6. I often think about what I’ve learned from a crisis after it’s passed. _____

    7. When I get stuck in traffic and am going to be late for an appointment, I am very calm rather than frustrated and stressed. _____

    8. I write a gratitude list at least once a week about the things I’m grateful for. _____

    9. When something bad happens, I prefer to be around others rather than withdrawing and being by myself. _____

    10. I’m not very hard on myself most of the time. _____

    11.  I think it’s okay to occasionally smile and laugh when something really bad has happened. _____

    12. I have a go-to person – like a mentor – when a crisis occurs in my life. _____

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    13. I don’t tend to get stuck in the past. _____

    14. It’s easy for me to believe that a crisis or catastrophe in my life can be a good thing. _____

    15. When a crisis happens, I come up with a lot of different solutions rather than just freezing. _____

    Now total up your score!

     

    Scoring:

    60-75     You’re a superball! You have very good resiliency skills and habits and you can bounce back from just about anything.

    45-59     You are bouncing right along  . . . most of the time. You have good resiliency skills, although sometimes it’s hard to engage them right away when faced with a crisis.

    30-44     Meh. Your ball has gone a little flat. You need to pump more air into that ball. Crises tend to throw you a bit. Add some flexibility to your life and be open to handling problems differently in the future.

    15-29     Uh-oh. Your ball is completely flat. Looks like you need to really work on your resiliency skills. Check out the section below for more ideas. And don’t worry: learning to bounce back in life is like learning anything else – you just need to practice. Be open to responding to setbacks in a different way than you have in the past.

     

    Detailed breakout:

    Here are the components of resiliency that made up your scores. If you were low in one particular area, try to increase that particular skill.

    Acceptance: the art of non-resistance

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    Items 1, 5, 7, 11

    If you scored yourself a 1, 2, or even a 3 on these items, realize that denial is a common response to adversity and is actually a protective mechanism. Just don’t stay in it too long or you won’t bounce back at all! Teach yourself to see the reality of your situation and act on that.

    Also consider how much energy you are expending when you fight or resist your problem. You can give in without giving up. The difference is that giving in allows you to keep trying to solve the problem without using up precious energy resisting the fact that the problem is here. It’s here in front of you. Don’t resist it – accept its presence and work on it!

    Remember that it’s okay to experience positive emotions and laugh even when in the midst of a crisis. This kind of emotional experience will help release oxytocin and endorphins that you need to help you through the storm.

    Perspective: see things clearly and from different angles

    Items 4, 15

    The key to this component is to remember that you have had difficult times before and made it through. Remember your past experience!

    Also, keep in mind that there are many angles to a problem and therefore many solutions. Break out of your old mold and try something new! A great way to prep yourself for future difficulties is to develop your creativity. Try Roger von Oech’s A Whack on the Side of the Head for some fun, mind-expanding activities and ideas.

    Social Support: ya gotta have friends

    Items 3, 9, and 12

    There is a lot of research showing that social support is a main component of resiliency. Even if you’re an introvert, having just one person you trust to talk with about your situation can be extremely helpful.

    It’s also really good to have a more experienced, wiser person or mentor you can turn to when trouble hits. This can be a parent, friend, or anyone you look up to and respect.

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    Positive Actions: creating positive emotions during times of crisis

    Items 2, 8, 10, 13

    As mentioned above, it’s important to experience positive emotions in your life, even in times of crisis. Researcher Barbara Fredrickson’s work shows that positive emotions not only help you feel good, but they expand your ability to problem-solve well.

    Rather than worrying about the past or future, try to stay in the present as much as possible. Listen to some mindfulness meditations to help you remain centered in the current moment.

    Be kind to yourself! Even if you got yourself into a mess, remember that everyone else has at some time in their lives, too. Treat yourself as you would your best friend who is having problems.

    Finding the gifts/Learning the lessons

    Items 6, 14

    Adversity frequently brings opportunities for self-growth and new experiences. Even though you would rather not have problems, remember the old saying: The sand that irritates the oyster often becomes a pearl.

    Well? How resilient are you? Let’s hear about it in the comments below!

    *This is a non-scientific test used for informational purposes only.

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    Last Updated on June 20, 2019

    Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

    Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

    There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

    More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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    Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

    You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

    During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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    Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

    Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

    The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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    This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

    Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

    The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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    This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

    This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

    Conclusion

    While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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    Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

    Reference

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