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Pillars of resiliency: spiritual resilience

Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas -- The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration, for most, but some Airmen may consider it the most challenging time of the year.

Although resiliency training is an important part of our Air Force, Airmen may have difficulty implementing the skills they learn into their lifestyles. During the holidays, practicing the pillars of resiliency is crucial.

Understanding the physical, social, and mental pillars of resiliency can be simple, but many don't fully comprehend the meaning of spiritual resilience. So, what is spiritual resilience?

"Many people hear 'spiritual resilience' and automatically think of religion, but it's a lot more than that," said Aaliyah Negley, 47th Flying Training Wing community support coordinator. "Religion is one of many ways to exercise spiritual resilience, but not the only way."

Spiritual resilience is defined as the ability to sustain an individual's sense of self and purpose through a set of beliefs, principles or values.

A helpful way to exercise spiritual resilience is by cultivating gratitude and counting your blessings. Be thankful for what you do have rather than focusing on what you're missing.

Build optimism and be positive. Accept the past and focus on the future. It may be challenging and overwhelming now but how will it improve your future, consider it as a stepping stone to fulfill your lifelong dream.

"There is something transformative that happens deep in our soul when we give to others freely and generously," said Derek Marley, 47th Operations Group and Maintenance Directorate chaplain. "In fact, the holidays are a great time to volunteer, and help someone who is hurting or struggling to make ends meet. Not only do you fill an immediate need, you also build spiritual resiliency and strength in your own life."

It is important to remember the resources available for Airmen such as the mental health clinic, Family Advocacy Program, Military Family Life Consultant and Airman & Family Readiness.

This story is part of an ongoing series addressing some of the issues Airmen face during the holidays.

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