How to grow resilience, Part 2

By Anne Collier

This is the second of two posts about the internal online (and offline) safeguard resilience. Here’s Part 1.

Another perspective on resilience: this in a TED Talk in Edinburgh in 2012 in which game designer and author Jane McGonigal shares some simple ways people of all ages can build resilience – the four kinds (physical, emotional, social and mental) that science says increase health, happiness and longevity, according to McGonigal.

“If you are never sitting still for more than an hour at a time, if you are reaching out to one person you care about every single day [she says this can be done in person or via social media, e.g., in a game], if you are tackling tiny goals to boost your willpower [aka focus, discipline, determination], you will live 10 years longer,” McGonigal says in the talk that has since gotten well over 2 million views. In a series of quests she gives her audience in about the last third of the talk, she demos the kinds of simple, quick, “scientifically validated activities that you can do every day to build up these four kinds of resilience, and you don’t need a trauma to do it.” She built them into her game SuperBetter, which she designed after suffering a head trauma to help her find her way out of a concussion that wouldn’t heal. Her descriptions of emotional and social resilience remind me of some of the benefits children gain from social-emotional learning in school (see this) that develops strength and safety from the inside out. Do check out McGonigal’s talk. I love the underlying message: It doesn’t have to be complicated, people! [My thanks to Gena Ricciardi of the Born This Way Foundation’s Youth Advisory Board for pointing this video out.]

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