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Positive Habits - A Route to Resilience?

What is resilience? Here’s a definition from Oxford Learners Dictionaries:

“The ability of people or things to recover quickly after something unpleasant, such as shock or injury.”

Why is resilience important? Let’s say a person has no ability to recover from an experience that left them feeling shocked or injured. How long do you think that person would last in the world? The mind and body are connected, but it seems as though we are more able to get out the way of the body’s recovery process after injury, than we are when it comes to recovering from emotional shock or trauma.

Broken bones? Viral infection? Conjunctivitis? The body gets to work with no hesitation, and pretty soon voila! We are right as rain. Can we say the same for how we deal with, dramatic and unexpected life changes, bullying, acute and chronic stress and break-ups?

When the negative effects of these situations are prolonged, our mental health (and potentially physical health) suffers. We can help ourselves by building resilience.

Resilience doesn’t tend to be one of these traits that you can build up over night; the factors that make up an individuals propensity of resilience is underpinned by genetic, epigenetic, developmental, psychosocial and neurochemical factors.

All that considered, we are human, and we are wired to survive. So, here are some suggestions:

Cognitive Reappraisal

This is a fancy term for ‘reframing’. Reframing is when we look at a difficult situation, and reframe it to see the benefits. What it isn’t, is denying our personal reality and experience, it’s important to acknowledge and process these first. Reframing, is an invitation to get motivated, and move away from the negativity bias. Check out this research review for more.

Mindfulness Practices

There is a plethora of research that has science backing-up the woo woo practices. Take a look at the highlights and abstract form this research paper Exploration of psychological mechanisms of the reduced stress response in long-term meditation practitioners Meditation and Yoga are your friends, and you don’t have to be a gymnast to get on the mat. Breath work is another awesome tool, check out OBC for a regular daily practice, I highly recommend this resource.

Positive Habits

This can literally be one thing you do every day. ONE THING. It doesn’t have to be an ice bath in the morning, then Yoga, followed by a freshly prepared sattvic diet. Hell no. It can be as simple as getting up at the same time every day and making your bed. It’s an achievement, and will have dopamine flowing through that beautiful brain of yours.

Making my bed is my personal favourite ritual, which was inspired by this awesome speech by Admiral McRaven.

I hope it lights a fire under your arse.


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