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NEWS | March 6, 2013

Resiliency programs count your blessings

By Andre Garceau 628th Air Base Wing Community Support coordinator

The Air Force defines resiliency as, "the ability to withstand, recover and/or grow in the face of stressors and changing demands."

But how do you become resilient? Most people probably think that it's just something you either become or don't become through a series of hard tests or trials. Those who are fit, win ... those who aren't may end up littering the road to survival.

Rocky Balboa inspired his son with the following words about resiliency, "The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward!"

Resiliency fits into Comprehensive Airman Fitness. CAF is no longer defined as fitness or simply by what can be done in the gym or on a track, but has been expanded to include not only physical fitness but mental, social and spiritual fitness as well. The Air Force is also taking the position that resiliency can be taught and learned and even grown.

I have spent two weeks at Joint Base McGuire-Dix, Lakehurst, N.J., learning the tenets of resiliency as it relates to CAF and will now be able to share these skills with others.
When you teach these skills to others, it really does help change the way you think. You think more positively.

I had a pretty negative mindset before I attended this training, but it has really helped me to stay positive and think about what good can come out of stuff that happens versus 'this is awful and I hate my life.'

Some of the most powerful coping skills I learned included how to count your blessings, learning how to have gratitude, goal setting, interpersonal problem solving, social resiliency, spiritual resiliency, good active listening skills and active constructive response, to just mention a few.
The biggest challenge to the program is making believers out of people.

Unless people know about the program, learn the skills and implement them into their lives, they won't help anyone. To that end, I'll be posting a series of resiliency articles covering each of these potent skills as well as challenging readers to try the skill personally in their own lives.

Together we can improve our ability to bounce back, and when practiced, ensure a more positive outcome and help those around us to better face day-to-day challenges.

For more information on the Master Resiliency Training Course or how to become a Resiliency Training Assistant, please call me at 963-5476 or contact your unit's MRT/RTA.