The Best Way To Overcome Adversity

RESILIENCE.    

Resilience is the ability to overcome adversity. I call it our BOUNCE Factor. Sure, we’re all bouncy enough when life is humming along. But what about when we’re being pummeled by curve balls and crikey?

My mind always goes to the Disney cartoon movie, ‘The Incredibles

The super hero dad, while trying to rescue his family, is shot at along a tight, narrow and inescapably high passageway.

The bullets are small liquid metal pellets. At first, the audience is led to believe that super dad is impervious to the seemingly petty, petite pieces. However, each pellet sticks to him, accumulating more and more of them and…………each pellet that is stuck to him grows larger and larger as we watch him desperately struggle. Soon the expanding liquid metal pellets overtake him.

The collective weight and complete covering finally take him down. He is literally petrified, immobilized in a straightjacket of heaviness.

The collective weight and complete covering finally take him down. He is literally petrified, immobilized in a straightjacket of heaviness.

Sound familiar?

What circumstances are causing your ‘straightjacket of heaviness’?

Like ‘The Incredibles’ Dad, it’s usually not the single or even the few pellets that take us down. It’s the accumulation of chronic, ongoing pellets that we cave and succumb to.

  • Ever feel like you can’t breathe?
  • Feeling paralyzed by overwhelm?
  • Sucker-punched?
  • Worn down by Decision Fatigue?
  • Hope Fatigue? 
  • Chronic Fatigue? 

These are all real things. Real circumstances. And we feel the weight of them.

And every cell in your body is impacted by them.

The accumulation of weighted ‘pellets’ takes a toll on your physical health, too.

 Stress & Allostatic Load

Allostatic load is the accumulation of damage to your internal environment at the hands of chronic, emotionally-charged stress. 

Sometimes referred to as Allostatic Burden, your body is literally burdened by stress. Each and every time you react to a situation with feelings of negative energy, a cascade of destruction happens inside you. 

To best manage and reduce stress it’s helpful to understand the science behind your stress.

Destructive Energy. 

Without even realizing it, your thoughts trigger a pathway of internal deterioration. Stress-response hormones initiate both break-down and build-up sequences. 

Adrenaline and Cortisol. 

Adrenaline awakens your ‘spidey-sense’ but also triggers the breakdown of your body’s protein (muscle wasting) to be synthesized into glucose, the fast-acting sugar your body’s demanding for handling the current crises. 

And cortisol, the most famous of the stress hormones, takes your urgent need for a quick burst of energy to a further extreme. Cortisol indirectly signals your liver to release some of its precious stored glucose into your blood stream immediately. 

The Cortisol – Cancer Connection

This blood sugar surge is precisely what cancer cells are engineered to take advantage of. The cortisol-blood sugar pathway seals your body in sugar-burning mode with a subsequent rise in insulin which locks fat stores tight. 

When you are in stress mode, fat stores are virtually unaccessible. We all can recall a person who, during a stressful period of time either gained a quick ten pounds, was diagnosed with cancer, or aged a quick ten years. 

How To Overcome Adversity & Reduce Stress Naturally

When we are in a life situation of accumulating stress and emotionally charged heaviness, our only tactic is to lift one pellet off at a time. It’s wise to surround ourselves with others who not only see and acknowledge our pellets, but who want to help us remove those pellets. Connecting with others who’ve been through it themselves is critical.

Let’s take a look at your resiliency or BOUNCE Factor. Boosting your bounce power will help you avoid those pellets sticking to you in the first place.

Using the word BOUNCE, here are some of the critical characteristics a resilient spirit possesses. They can quickly overcome adversity, reduce stress and lessen the allostatic burden by following the BOUNCE method.

Download your BOUNCE Factors Worksheet.

The Overcome Adversity BOUNCE Method

elieve

A resilient soul believes they can do something about their situation. 

They can solve or manage, or cope somehow. The important piece is that they BELIEVE they CAN.  The mind must always be way out in front of the body. Whether riding a bike or picking up a glass of water, you must first think it and believe it before you can do it.

Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right."

verride

The ability to override is quite possibly the greatest super-power of all.

It’s the power to use your intellect to over-ride your emotion.

Fear, anger, resentment, bitterness, hurt – all natural and understandable human responses to painful circumstances – are destructive energy emotions.

Sure, at times these destructive forces can enable a human with some super-human strength like lifting a car off a child but that strength is incredibly brief. A problem cannot be solved in the same energy in which it was created.

Appreciate your emotional reaction then over-ride it with your intellect. That is where the solution lies.

A problem cannot be solved in the same energy in which it was created.

Reso rce-full

The resilient person is resourceful.

Imagine finding yourself on a deserted island. We’ve all seen movies or read stories about castaways or stranded plane crash passengers. A leader emerges from the group of frightened, exhausted and overwhelmed and begins to take inventory. What do we have on hand that is useful to us in this unfortunate, unexpected circumstance?

Then, after the inventory phase, the leader moves on to the exploratory phase. What needs to be found in order to support us in this situation?

Problem solving.

Resilient spirits are problem-solving oriented.

k ow

Resilient souls know there’s a bigger picture.

They are innately aware that this current thing, whether a short-lived situation or a chronic situation, is somehow lending meaning to or serving a purpose in their life. Whether they ‘like it’ or ‘don’t like it’ is irrelevant.

There is a lesson here. An attention shift may be warranted. Resilient folk know that life doesn’t happen to us, it happens for us.

Resilient folk know that life doesn't happen to us, it happens for us.

onnect

Connection is critical.

We are meant to depend upon one another. In the case of a radical change in our life, we may need to expand our circle of connection. Our current circle may not hold the solution we seek.

After all, this radical lousy that’s been handed to you has already changed you. You are no longer the same person within your circle.

Current connections can act as support, surely. But your lousy just might require more than your current circle can offer.

Connect with others who are going through or have gone through what you’re experiencing. Connection like that is just smart. I would never ask my yoga instructor how to climb Mt. Everest. Find yourself a sherpa, for gosh sake.

I would never ask my yoga instructor how to climb Mt. Everest. Find yourself a sherpa, for gosh sake.

Barbara McDermott

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Seek.

Solutions, answers, better ways, easier tactics, smoother paths, faster tracks, more efficient and accurate means are out there.

Open your eyes.

Open your mind. 

Open your heart.

Someone is expecting you. And you will give them the greatest gift of all. Of allowing them to help.

And then when you’ve accomplished your climb out of the deep, dark well or used every bit of resiliency to pull off every last pellet that’s weighed you down, someone will be looking to you for direction. And you will be their solution. That’s when you’ll know it had all been worth it.

Keep bouncing.

Watch Barbara McDermott Share Her Overcome Adversity BOUNCE Method

Watch more videos by Barbara McDermott about ways to overcome adversity, health and wellness restoration, weight loss, insulin resistance, how to lower cholesterol and  more.

Frequently Asked Questions on Stress Management

1.) What is Chronic Stress?

Chronic stress refers to long term or ongoing emotional, mental, and/or physical hardship. Chronic stress can be for a lifetime. Lifetime diseases requiring hyper-vigilance, mental tasks and actions, along with the generation of both physical and financial burdens is a good example of chronic stress. There is no way out.

Chronic stress can be periodic. People can create their own chronic stress through their emotional reactions to everyday life. And chronic stress can be in association with life chapters. Going through a particularly challenging period of tending to a sick child, death of a loved one, loss of employment, uncertainty, financial hardship, relationship conflict, etc…generate experiences of chronic stress.

2.) What is Allostatic Load?

Accumulated damage from chronic stress is called Allostatic Load. Our emotional response to circumstances releases stress hormones that in turn raise blood sugar. Blood sugar subsequently raises insulin level.The surges of blood sugar and insulin are what cause damage, stoke inflammation, and support cancer establishment and growth.

Allostatic Load or Burden refers to the total value of physical wear and tear incurred by our emotional responses to life.

3.) How does chronic stress weaken the immune system?

The immune system is a defensive system. The stress response system is an offensive system.

Every time we initiate the cortisol-blood sugar-insulin sequence we shift our body from defense (immune system/guard) to offense (stress-system/attack!).

Think of it this way, whenever we are in attack mode our guard is down. We are at far greater risk of injury when we are playing offense rather than defense.

The calm, steady, even-keeled person is in defensive mode (immune system) far more often than the stressed, uptight and reactive person. Chronic stress dials down the immune system.

4.) How does chronic stress makes us susceptible to cancer?

FIRST. Any emotionally reactive, stress-induced moment comes with a blood sugar surge. Blood sugar surges are precisely what cancer cells are engineered to take advantage of.

Cancer cells are primed for these blood sugar surges through angiogenesis. Insulin, which always accompanies a blood sugar surge, drives angiogenesis.

Angiogenesis means ‘blood supply network creation’. Angio (blood supply) genesis (creation). Cancer is all about blood. Why? Because cancer’s fuel is in the blood. Glucose. Blood Sugar. And insulin ensures the cancer cell gets what it needs.

SECOND. Chronic and frequent blood sugar surges and subsequent insulin spikes turn autophagy off. Autophagy is the body’s built-in defense and repair system.

Apoptosis, or faulty (cancer) cell suicide, is a mechanism of autophagy and turned OFF when Blood Sugar and Insulin are up. This leaves the body susceptible to developing cancer.

Chronic stress supports cancer two ways: It dials down our defenses against cancer and dials up support for cancer.

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One Response to The Best Way To Overcome Adversity

  1. Barb Meyer September 1, 2019 at 5:10 pm #

    Barb, thank you for this article. I’ve read it several times already. I am now copying the whole thing + the resilience article (7 pages). I need to be reminded of this often. As I type this, tears are streaming down. I appreciate you so much.Your insight is phenomenal. What you bring to our SHIFT classes is exactly what I need every week. The Lord is using you–what a ministry you have here with our Shift community. May the Lord keep you safe during this REAL physical hurricane.

    Love, Barb Meyer

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