Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and challenges. One interesting aspect of resilience is the possibility that the bad experience makes one stronger and more equipped to face future problems. A useful analogy would be that of vaccination – by exposing a person to small amounts of a germ, you create the ability to ward off that infection in the future. Psychiatrist Steven Wolin defines resiliency as the capacity to rise above adversity—sometimes the terrible adversity of outright violence, molestation or war—and forge lasting strengths in the struggle. This has important implications for people who feel that they have been irrevocably damaged by their childhoods, or who are struggling to recover from an extremely traumatic event.
The investigation of whether this valuable attribute has a genetic origin has been clouded by the fact that levels of resilience can vary so dramatically within the same family. What is it, then, that enables some people to recover and go on to thrive after devastating events, while others remain mired in the past.
The answer could lie in the way that the brain stores trauma. As mammals we have sacrificed ancient methods of trauma release since they involved periods of vulnerability. Storing the trauma to release at times of safety seemed a better strategy. But as modern society has demanded more and more from its inhabitants, so the levels of stored stress have risen, and the periods of safety in which trauma could be released have diminished or in some cases no longer exist. This stored trauma profoundly affects brain wave activity and causes imbalances resulting in uncomfortable symptoms.
It is clear that a brain which is behaving dysfunctionally due to stored trauma is unlikely to display any resilience. Further stressful situations are likely to be handled with even less clarity and control, and so the situation escalates unpleasantly. Returning to the vaccine analogy, ongoing exposure would weaken the immune system rather than strengthen it.
To recover from a stressful situation, the brain needs to be able to discharge the stress that is pinning it into dysfunctional patterns. This includes the stress from the current event and also past stresses. Once the brain has experienced this pattern of discharging once, it is equipped to repeat that sequence. The recovery enhances the brain’s function and so becomes an important survival strategy, to be called upon when required. This brain now displays the resilience that will enhance the quality of life of that person.
Brain Wave Optimisation offers a gentle, quick and extremely effective method to discharge stress and allow the brain to return to a balanced condition. Measuring brainwave activity and feeding it back to the brain as sound allows the brain to address the imbalances in its own unique way. Lifetime trauma patterns, often originating at birth, are identified and then addressed in a way that does not require returning to the trauma, only letting it go. The ability to remember stressful events from the past without being triggered is extremely helpful in improving quality of life.