Here is the Overview:

The lesson goal is to introduce the four domains of resilience and gain a basic understanding of building capacity.

We are energy systems.

Every day we wake up with a certain amount of energy to spend. Basically we are energy systems that expend and renew energy. In order to remain healthy and resilient, we have to manage how we spend our energy.

Even at the most basic physiological level, our metabolism converts the food we eat into usable energy, so we are constantly expending and renewing energy.

Key Concepts:
  • The domains of resilience are interrelated, with each one affecting the others.
  • Some people may be more resilient in one domain than others.
  • We can build a new baseline of resilience in each domain.
  • We tend to waste a lot of energy and therefore deplete internal reserves in the emotional domain.
  • The accumulation of small energy drains in the emotional domain can be more depleting than one big emotional outburst.

There are four primary domains of resilience: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. To be fully resilient, it’s important to pay attention to all four domains because, as the overlapping circles illustrate, each affects the others.

(Click the image to see it larger)

Some people are naturally more resilient in one domain than in another. People who are naturally able to better self-regulate their emotions and maintain their cool and composure under pressure would be considered more emotionally resilient. It’s important to keep in mind that people who are naturally resilient in one domain can be in a low state of resilience overall if they allow their energy or internal battery to become drained in even just one of the other domains.

The area in which most of us tend to waste a lot of energy unnecessarily and deplete our internal reserves is the emotional domain. Feelings like frustration, anger, resentment and anxiety burn a lot of extra energy. Some of the hormones produced during a stressful interaction stay in your system for many hours and can disrupt your ability to get renewing sleep and can diminish your ability to focus.

It’s not only the big energy expenditures that deplete your energy. More energy is actually depleted because of the accumulation of more subtle feelings like impatience, sadness or frustration, but they add up to big energy drains at the end of the day.

You may not notice subtle drains as easily as recognizing that you’re having a big anger blowout. A big blowout is like flooring the accelerator in your car and is a fast way to drain your fuel. Subtle depleting emotions that run quietly in the background are like leaving the lights on in your car after you have turned off the ignition. They slowly, quietly drain your inner battery.

Let’s take a closer look now and identify some of your energy drains and gains. We’ll then map them on a grid that will illustrate how they affect your physiology and performance. From there we’ll introduce some techniques to help stop the energy drain and recharge your inner battery.

Warning Signal

“It’s easy to forget that stress is one of your body’s warning signals that tells you something is out of whack. If you ignore those signals, especially your emotions, you could become so accustomed to the stimulation of stress, ongoing tension and strain that stress can start to seem normal. When a lot of people in a particular environment are stressed, they can create a climate that makes it more difficult for any one person to see his or her own stress clearly. When you have a whole culture pushing high performance, sometimes people don’t want to admit it or address it.”

–Henry J Kahn, M.D