When you’re stressed, you’re likely to fight, flee, or freeze. Typically, these are short-term stresses that we can adapt to. But now? Stress has become chronic.

Not only has stress become chronic, but we’re now seeing a layering effect of stress. Many people are facing multiple layers of chronic stress.

Shirley Martin, PhD, RN, CPN, (yes, my wife) and I have loved the Christopher K. Germer, Ph.D., and Kristin Neff, Ph.D., model of the stress response. Their model shows what happens when stress turns inward and how mindful self-compassion can counteract stress and make you more resilient. We’ve built on this model to deepen the understanding of how the negative and positive spirals manifest inwardly and outwardly.

We call this the Stress Resilience Model. Take a look:

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When stress appears, what do you usually do? (Or do you react in different ways depending on the stress?) Which negative spiral catches you and threatens to send you down? Do you tend to do inward behaviors? Outward behaviors? Or a mix?

Now for the best part. How can you tap into the resilient spiral so that you can move in positive directions?

Instead of spiraling down in negativity, spiral up in resiliency. 

This new Stress Resilience Model can guide your way in recognizing when stress happens, helping you reflect on how you respond, and showing how you can take positive steps to move along a better path.