Resilience, the ability to ‘bounce back’, is essential to our health, happiness and well being. However, it can be eroded when we become overwhelmed by the unpredictable events that intrude into our lives.
Where the crisis is short lived and/or we find the resources to contain it and find a solution, people typically recover their resilience. Along the way, we learn vital lessons about our competence and resourcefulness. But how do we survive the events that are beyond our control?
Remaining resilient in an increasingly unpredictable and chaotic world is a challenge for all of us. The answer lies in your daily determination to be intentional about cultivating a positive, and therefore more resilient, state of mind. Here are eight strategies that when practiced consistently, will help you to build resilience.
- Limit your use of social media and news
Social media and other news outlets are often an unrelenting source of bad news, yet we find them addictive to consume. We have a constant need to know what is ‘happening next,’ and find ourselves going back to the next source for more information.
Our fascination and curiosity makes us a prisoner to the latest news, which can elevate our anxiety. Setting a time limit on how long to use social media and read the news will diminish the impact this has on your resilience.
- Stretch each day
Anxiety and stress are stored in our body—tightening muscles, headaches, nausea, stomach aches, diarrhoea, constipation and indigestion can all be side effects of this.
If you have a dog or cat, you will have noticed how often they do a long, deep stretch. Animals instinctively know what we so often fail to acknowledge—that a long stretch keeps the body limber and helps our blood to circulate efficiently, reversing the effects of stress on the body.
Whether you choose to do yoga, Pilates or your own set of stretches, the important thing is to keep stretching daily to prevent stress shutting down your body.
- Focus on the positive
At the beginning of each day, take five minutes to intentionally focus your mind towards seeking out the positive. Still be level headed, aware of conflicting and difficult experiences, but choose to take a positive outlook, learning to acknowledge how you feel without letting it move in and set up house.
Refocus your mind on the positive even if you aren’t feeling it. After all, sometimes you have to fake it until you make it!
- Pay attention to nature
Nature is a natural stress-reducer, so take the time to absorb colour, pattern, movement and whatever catches your eye. If you live and work in a concrete jungle, look at the sky and observe cloud formations, or an isolated tree or plant. Take the time to breathe in its life giving energy and recognise how it makes you feel.
- Repeat a positive affirmation
By choosing a positive affirmation like, ‘I am worthy,’ or ‘I will have a good day,’ and repeating this to yourself through the day, your mind will begin to believe it. You may not be convinced of the truth of the affirmation immediately, but after awhile it will become second nature to you and build your resilience.
- Expect to be surprised
Surprises come to us every day, but we often fail to notice or fully appreciate them. They bring delight, happiness and remind us that we are not alone. Make a point each morning to anticipate a surprise in your day—you may be surprised about what you notice!
- Smile a lot
Have you noticed how you feel when someone smiles at you? We feel warmer, less fearful and anxious, and welcomed. On the other hand, a frown sends the message that we are intrusive, irritating or unwelcome. We feel lighter when we smile and also extend this happiness to others by inviting them to smile back.
- Make a Grateful Journal
Write what you are grateful for at the end of each day in a journal, and your resilience will increase. Grateful people are happier and easier to be around. By expressing your gratitude, you focus on what is good and positive in your life. This will only take a couple of minutes each day, and it will reduce your stress and create a positive mindset.
Which of these suggestions do you want to implement? Start each week with one, try something different each day, or commit yourself to trying one. Comment below to let us know what you are doing to build your personal resilience.
Are you stressed and worn out? Would you like to build your resilience? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.