Meditations & exercises

Strengthening resilience: Exercises and tips with and without sound

Strengthening resilience: Exercises and tips with and without sound

What is resilience?

Resilience is your ability to adapt to difficult personal life situations or crises without permanent mental or physical impairment. The definition of resilience is derived from the word "resilience", which means resilience, resistance or elasticity. It is not just about overcoming a challenging situation, but also about growing personally and actively confronting crises. Resilience is not innate, but a changeable process that can change with experience and is linked to various behaviors, personality traits and resources.

What characterizes resilient people?

Resilient people often show flexibility, optimism, self-efficacy and the ability to seek social support. This makes it easier for them to deal with stress, adapt to new situations, learn from mistakes and develop positive solution strategies. Although resilience is not innate, it develops in childhood from the experiences a child has with their closest caregivers and their environment.

If we are lovingly supported as children in dealing with successes and failures, we can develop a high level of resilience in later life. Nevertheless, this can change again and again in the course of our lives due to challenges and crises.

The 7 pillars of resilience

The original idea of the 7 pillars of resilience comes from the psychologist Ursula Nuber. This brief insight into this model is intended to give you a structure to better understand the various aspects of resilience.

  • Pillar 1 - Self-awareness: recognizing your own strengths and weaknesses, self-reflection
  • Pillar 2 - Self-regulation: finding a way to deal with your own emotions, applying effective stress management strategies
  • Pillar 3 - Optimism: maintaining hope in difficult times, developing a positive outlook for the future
  • Pillar 4 - Self-efficacy: Having confidence in your own abilities to solve problems and successfully overcome challenges
  • Pillar 5 - Meaningfulness: finding meaning and significance in difficult situations and growing from them
  • Pillar 6 - Connectedness: making use of social support, building strengthening relationships
  • Pillar 7 - Future orientation: Setting goals and developing a positive vision for the future

How sound can strengthen resilience

Sound is vibration that is transmitted in the form of a sound wave through air or water, for example. Sound propagates particularly well in liquids. As our body consists of 80 percent water, it reacts very sensitively to sound. The vibrations are transmitted from cell to cell and create an even and therefore "organizing" impulse. This makes it clearer why sound has proven to be so effective in challenges and crises: The chaos in the body and mind caused by the challenge can be sorted with the help of sound vibrations and find new order. Sound can therefore be an effective method of maintaining or restoring your well-being in difficult phases of life and strengthening your resilience.

Which sound applications and exercises strengthen resilience?

There are very different applications and exercises with sound - from meditative sound journeys to targeted sound therapies. Gong baths, sound massages and all the specific uplifting uses of singing bowls and gongs help you to master difficult life situations and increase your resilience. You can only find out exactly which sound applications or exercises suit you through your own experience. A daily ritual with the sound instrument of your choice can already help you to let go of thought loops, perceive and process emotions and feel safe in your body. In our article "Sound instruments for beginners", we give you an overview of popular instruments that you can learn quickly and easily integrate into your everyday life.

Olli Hess on the gong with ollihess gong mallets

Overview: How sound promotes resilience

Stress reduction and relaxation through sound

Sounds can flow deep inside you and create an atmosphere of calm. Blockages can be released on both a physical and mental level, leading to stress reduction and deep relaxation. This newly created space allows you to see more clearly, find solutions and focus on the positive. Below we show you in more detail why sound can preserve and promote resilience.

Emotional processing through sound

Sounds make it possible to explore or express emotions. Sound does not require words and so feelings can be experienced freely without having to understand the cause behind them. The vibrations of the sounds serve as a cathartic means of releasing emotional blockages and finding more balance.

Rhythm as a stabilizer

Sounds with a regular rhythm can act as an anchor and offer you a certain stability in turbulent times. A rhythm is considered particularly stabilizing and relaxing if it is slow and has 60 to 80 BPM (beats per minute). The sound thus accompanies the rhythm of the heart and lowers it to a level of relaxation. In this way, the rhythm of a sound application can also help you to remain steadfast and stable in the midst of uncertainty.

Community through sound

The shared experience of sound promotes a sense of community and supports resilience through social connection. Experiencing gong baths or sound meditations in a group is therefore often perceived as very nourishing and strengthening. It almost seems as if the participants tune into each other through the even vibrations. Sharing experiences with sound can also create a positive group dynamic and enable the exchange of support.

Sound exercises with gong or singing bowl for more resilience

You will need a sound instrument of your choice for this exercise. We recommend a gong or a singing bowl with a suitable mallet or grater. You will also need a notebook and a pen.

  • Find a quiet place where you can be undisturbed for about 10 to 20 minutes and make yourself comfortable.
  • Look back at the challenges in your life. What has made you sad, unsettled, shaken or even hurt? Focus on one or two minor or major crises in your life.
  • Write down which character traits gave you strength during these phases and then choose one of these traits that is particularly important to you.
  • Now start to produce a sound on your sound instrument in a very slow and, if possible, steady rhythm. Once you have found your rhythm, close your eyes if necessary and concentrate on the vibrations.
  • Feel into your body: Where can you perceive the powerful character trait? Perhaps you can locate a point or an area in your body. If not, just pick a spot - it can be as small as your fingernail or as big as your stomach.
  • In the next step, begin to expand this special strength over your entire body with the help of the sound vibrations. With each new strike of your gong or your singing bowl , this inherent quality spreads further.
  • You can use the image of a balloon that slowly gets bigger - until it has expanded over your entire body.
  • Let your instrument slowly fade away and linger in this feeling for a few more breaths before opening your eyes again.

Sound offers diverse and easily accessible ways to face life's challenges and grow personally. We hope that this knowledge and practical exercise will help you to become aware of your resilience, strengthen it and support you on the path to a balanced and resilient life.

Read more

Sound Healing: Instruments for beginners
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