Resilience: A Journey into Yourself

25 June 2019, Basel 

What is resilience? How do you build it up? How do you spread it to your peers? These are burning questions of a society like ours: the technological changes and the availability of information have made change a constant of our everyday life. Change forces an adaptation process that often comes with stress. Resilience is the ability to react and flourish in challenging situations. 

In the HBA Basel workshop on resilience, the speakers Katja Hausmann and Shirley Hiscock shared their different and complementary points of view, as well as original suggestions on how to handle stressful situations and turn them for your best. Did you know that massaging the index knuckle of your hand in circles can have a soothing effect on your mind? Shirley, a recognized teacher of Chi Kung shared some of her impressive knowledge of the human body. Usually, when we are upset, we are told to relax, but it is often not that easy. Try instead to tense all your muscles as much as you can, then release the tension slowly. Or make eye contact with a calm person, like when you were a newborn. We had a chance to practice these techniques, as well as some simple chi kung flows that let us feel regenerated, despite the heatwave weighing over Basel. 

Katja demonstrated how a certain attitude towards life in resilient people made them extremely successful also in unfavorable conditions. Resilience can be trained. By instinct, we are very alert to conditions that made us feel pain, but not as much to conditions that are allowing us to be fine every day. The ability to recognize such conditions can be trained like a muscle: optimism is key to stay resilient, together with empathy and with the ability to control your emotions according to the situation. The foremost requirement for these skills is to discover yourself. Find out what is important to you, what are your specific needs and protect them. 

Stand up for yourself and take responsibility for your life. With these positive and encouraging messages, we moved on to a pizza apero that went on well after the end of the seminar, thanks to the open atmosphere that had been created.

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