Resilience is key

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Let me shine a light on resilience.  What is resilience exactly and why is it important?

It is defined in the dictionary as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties2015 Alison Charles--675“.

This makes sense to me.  Being resilient won’t stop the changes in life, the stressful times or the sad ones, but it will help you manage them and carry on.  Our Changing World is complex, fast moving, and often difficult to navigate so having a strategy to build resilience for when you need it is a great approach.  Work on resilience now, not just when you are in a crisis and possibly not able to think straight.  By then it is possibly too late.  So how great would it be, next time life is feeling stressful, to be able to calm your mind and deal with it with confidence?

 

Step 1:  Note how you respond to pressure

Step 2:  Does that response help you cope?  If not time to change it up.

Step 3: What would help you be more resilient?

In the moment one of the best things you can do it take 2 minutes and just breath.  When anyone experiences a stressful situation the fight of flight response kicks in.  Adrenalin floods into the body along with Epinephrine and cortisol.  Now this is great if you are about to be eaten by a tiger, but modern life tends to be an increasing laying of events that happen one after the other, so with each one the body kicks out the fight of flight response hormones.  If you keep laying on the stress then you can suffer adrenal fatigue.  (I will talk about that in a post later if you want to know more).

This is the technique

  • Breath in through the nose for 4 counts
  • Hold for 4 counts
  • Breath out through the mouth with the lips only slightly apart to reduce airflow for 4 counts

Make sure you breath deep into the stomach and relax the shoulders.  If you find yourself hitching your shoulders up to your ears then clench them tight and then release, letting them drop down.  When you first practice the technique get someone to watch you.

If you do a few rounds of this breathing for a couple of minutes, it will definitely calm the body, mind, and nervous system. It also works with everyday stress and anxiety. You can use it anytime negative or fearful thoughts or emotions get the bestter of you.  The military call it tactical or combat breathing and it is a core part of training to staying as calm as possible in the moment.

For building resilience in the longer term see my next post.