The following tips are taught to LDS Youth who attend BYU-Idaho’s Adventure for Youth program. AFY, a BYU-Idaho youth program located at the base of the Grand Teton range, is committed to providing deeply significant learning, spiritual, and recreational experiences that will increase faith, as well as self-confidence and individual worth.
These tips help individuals achieve psychological resilience, the ability to cope with stress and adversity:
Tool #1: Examine your mindset: Do you believe you can grow?
A growth mindset leads to success. We understand that failure and mistakes do not define us, but provide opportunities to learn and grow. This mindset has the outcome of knowing that you do not have to prove your intelligence, character, or talent level to others.
With a fixed mindset, your intelligence, personality, and basic qualities are fixed traits. This thinking leads to the belief that talent generates success. We spend time comparing instead of developing.
By choosing a growth mindset, you learn to view mistakes and trials as opportunities to learn and grow.
Tool #2: How you think matters
Martin Seligman, author of Learned Optimism taught, “There is a vast, unclaimed territory of actions over which we can take control – or cede control to others or to fate.”
Seligman continues, “Our thoughts are not merely reactions to events; they change what ensues.”
When we have doom loop thinking styles such as all-or-nothing thinking, analysis paralysis, mind-reading, emotional reasoning, over-generalizing, labeling, or disqualifying the positive, we create behaviors that weaken resiliency. These behaviors are self-destructive and can lead to depression.
By spotting your doom loop thinking, you can see what triggers may be happening to cause these thinking patterns.
Begin identifying your thoughts by writing them down. Record your thoughts in a notepad for 3 or more days. Keep two columns: “Generally Positive” and “Generally Negative.” Analyze patterns to see where these positive or negative thoughts stem from.
Tool #3: Practice Gratitude
We know as Latter-Day Saints, that, “men are that they might have joy.” Practicing gratitude is a way to count our blessings, to invite optimism into our lives, and as
David Steindl-Rast, author of Gratefulness explains, "Ordinary happiness depends on happenstance. Joy is that extraordinary happiness that is independent of what happens to us. . . . We hold the key to lasting happiness in our own hands. For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
Learn more about BYU-I’s program AFY and how your teenager can learn and grow at www.byui.edu/afy.
This article is sponsored by BYU-Idaho's Adventure for Youth program.