Police Psychology | Building Resilience
by Doug Gentz, Ph.D. Psychological Services
Resilience is the ability to effectively and quickly recover from difficulties, failures, illness, and injuries. From a neurophysiological perspective, resilience is the ability to recover rapidly from sympathetic nervous system (SNS) over-activations with adequate parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) activations. Since working in law enforcement guaranties moderate SNS over-activations on a frequent basis and intense SNS over-activations on occasion, enhanced nervous system resilience is a long-term survival booster.
Four strategies for enhancing resilience are 1) minimize your exposure to unnecessary negative environmental over-stimulation, 2) take more responsibility for how you interpret your experiences, 3) notice and manage dysfunctional SNS over-activations with PSNS activations as soon as feasible, 4) stay in good cardiovascular condition with a regular aerobic exercise program supplemented with regular strength and flexibility training. (more…)