This article is written in partnership with Qualia—they’re dedicated to helping you to claim your vitality through improving your stress resilience (and just about everything else), We’re honored to work with them. ~ ed.
“You’re going to need to change just about everything that you are to get through this.”
That’s what my mom said to me in a recent phone conversation about a large amount of impending uncertainty in my life.
We all know those times. Times when life is abundantly full of fear of the unknown, and when even our strongest attributes are tested. After all, 84% of Gen Z reports burnout, along with 74% of Millennials, and 47% of Baby Boomers, according to a study of 10,000 people across seven countries.
Know what helps us to get through it all? Resilience.
Recently, I was browsing blogs from the biohacking brains over at Qualia, a company all about helping our brains and bodies reach their full potential through holistic, vegan, and non-GMO formulations. Their Qualia Resilience formula is specifically designed to help us thrive in a stressful and challenging world, with the support of some of Earth’s most research-backed ingredients for improving stress resilience.
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Lo and behold, I stumbled upon a fascinating Qualia interview blog with Rich Diviney, author of The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance. The chat was about how thriving in the face of stress takes a psychological approach (in addition to a nutritional one).
I was captivated as the conversations began to discuss the four key attributes of grit: courage, perseverance, adaptability, and (you guessed it) resilience.
It’s easy to see how those four attributes can set us up to court success in life and be excellent leaders. The last attribute in particular—resilience—was especially appropriate for Qualia to be discussing with Diviney, since their Qualia Resilience nutritional formula is all about optimizing recovery, mood, and the capacity to deal with the stressors we experience in our day-to-day lives.
Personally, I snap back from setbacks and stress about as well as a decade-old, brittle rubber band. I’m not particularly adaptable or resilient. So, I was obviously curious about how I could boost those attributes through specialized nutrition and key psychological insights.
But in case you’re like me, and pretty resistant to change and uncertainty…
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Let’s get into the nitty grit-ty of adaptability and resilience.
Adaptability is the ability to easily adjust to changing circumstances and situations. But resilience, on the other hand, is the ability to rapidly return to the emotional and mental state we had before a stressful, traumatic, or even triumphant event. Both of those attributes are pretty darn important since we face a whole lotta challenge and change in our daily lives. So, what do you do if you feel you’re low in an attribute or two?
Can you go to grit school and get a degree in adaptability? No. No, you cannot; it’s a little more complex than that.
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We can’t build attributes the same way we build skills—in step-by-step processes. But, with some effort, we can still bulk up the attributes we’d most like to strengthen.
Here’s the bad news: bumping up our gritty attributes—no matter which you’re seeking to bolster—requires deliberate exposure. You can’t boost your ability to handle adversity by constantly trying to avoid challenge. And usually, most people’s dreams and goals are going to encounter some hurdles.
Improvement is gonna require a mix of physical and mental steps to get us on our way.
The Physical Route
A great place to start in boosting your grit through adaptability and resilience is dialing in your specialized nutrition.
Our endocrine and nervous systems work together to increase our ability to deal in life. The latter has a lot of impact on the former’s performance, and when we operate from lower levels of adaptability and resilience, we tend to trigger our nervous systems into high gear.
That’s where Qualia Resilience comes in to support stress resilience: it’s a scientifically researched, neuro-adaptogen supplement, which is another way of saying it’s basically the ultimate recipe to reduce stress and support mental performance in tough situations.
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Qualia uses a holistic approach to nourishing the body based on complexity science (which, in layman’s terms, deals with caring how each ingredient interacts with the other). The unique combo of more than 16 potent, science-backed, and high-purity adaptogens, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids plug directly into our systems to build our resilience from the inside out.
More importantly, they help counter stress and promote positive mood, relaxation, and mental toughness. Here’s one tiny example of exactly how Qualia Resilience works to improve stress resilience:
Many of us know that dopamine is an incredibly potent neurotransmitter that tells us when something is pleasurable. What we might not know is that as we choose to express gratitude despite being in difficult situations (a mental component of building resilience that we’ll get to in a minute), we release dopamine. That release tells us that building resilience is pleasurable; it tells us we want to keep doing it—we’re good!
Qualia Resilience features L-Ornithine, vitamin B6, and folate, which all support dopamine production. Boom! Potential resilience boost achieved!
Additional ingredients like Extramel melon juice concentrate, Noogandha ashwagandha root and leaf extract, adaptogenic eleuthero root, pantothenic acid, and magnesium all support our nervous system in ways that can help us return to our emotional and mental center more easily. Pow! Another hit of resilience!
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So, when it comes to upping our adaptability or radiating resilience, two lil’ capsules of Qualia Resilience a day can help us grit and bear it as we aim to up our attributes.
Based on personal experience, it feels like you’re you, only 40% less reactive to stress, but not in a way that feels sedated. It’s more like you feel more grounded and capable of easily thinking through how to react to challenges.
Once you have your nutritional game tight for handling stress with Qualia Resilience, there are a couple developmental nuggets of gold for mentally gussying up a little more grit though adaptability and resilience.
The Mental Route to Increasing Adaptability & Resilience
It’s all about exposure with these two, rubbing right up against moments where you need to use these attributes to get through.
If we’re low in adaptability, for example, we need to learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. We need to adapt our responses to external shifts by putting ourselves into situations where there’s lots of change or by choosing to implement change in our daily lives.
So let go of your expectations, switch route to work, or modify your strategy and routine (maybe one at a time, though), because, to paraphrase Diviney’s wisdom, the only way to access more adaptability is to consciously decide to bend as often as you can,
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On the other hand, one of the biggest things that we can do to increase our resilience is look for and be grateful for what Diviney calls the “little tragedies” in life and learning to make lemonade outta lemons.
Life isn’t all giant ups and downs; it’s tons of small ones. We need to retrain our brains to correctly estimate the highs in life, and dwell less on the lows so we can better deal with the bigger than big things that happen when we least expect them.
To do that, we need to find tiny everyday disasters—the small stuff we often sweat and let “ruin” or affect our days—like getting stuck in traffic. And then (and this is key), we need to find ways to be grateful or even have a sense of humor about them.
The better we train ourselves to return to our baseline, or our normal, neutral way of being in our day-to-day life, the better we’ll deal when something bigger strikes.
So, now you know when things get tough, it’s actually an excellent opportunity to look for an opportunity to practice being gritty. And when it’s all just feelin’ like a little too much, and like you need a li’l extra support? Well, then there’s Qualia Resilience for that.
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Fortify your Flexibility in Life.
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3. Diviney, Rich. The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance. New York, Penguin Random House, 2021.
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