How to Reduce Stress and Be Resilient: Part 2

Using the brain to be resilient
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In last week’s article I shared these 7 tips to recover quickly from stress and become more resilient.

In this post I’ll be sharing 7 tips to work with your mind to be resilient.  It is also just as possible and important to use your mind to release stress and be resilient.  

Here are 7 ways you can use your mind to maintain a state of wellbeing whether you are going through challenging circumstances or not:

#1:  Imagine things working out just the way you want them to.

Be very specific in your vision and allow yourself to enjoy the feelings as if this vision of what you want has already happened RIGHT NOW.  In other words, instead of focusing on what you don’t want and then worrying about it, focus on what you do want and be grateful about it.

Your thoughts become what you experience so practice this often as a way to help you be resilient whenever you experience something negative or stressful

#2:  To piggyback on the first tip, focus on anything in your life you are grateful for.

Instead of having tunnel vision about any problems you are experiencing, think about all that you have in your life that is good.  You cannot feel stressed, worried or anxious and feel grateful at the same time.  Spend much of your mental time on those wonderful things in your life and you’ll be well on your way to being more resilient. 

It could be your health, the pretty flower in your back yard or the smile of your child.  

Or anything else big, medium or small.

#3:  Practice being mindful.

Mindfulness is basically the act of experiencing hat you are experiencing.  For example, mindful eating of an almond involves really noticing what the almond looks like, what it feels like when you take your first bite, what it feels like as you chew, what it tastes like when you chew, and what it feels like going down your esophagus.  It is being in the present moment.  

Your mind may often stray into the past or the future or some other distraction and with mindfulness, you practice returning to what you are experiencing.  

You are in the here and now.  This practice is particularly useful during times of stress to help you become more calm and be resilient and you navigate whatever it is you are facing.

#4:  Reframe your tough times as opportunities for self-development.

This tough time or crisis may be a time for you to learn how to depend on others in a healthy way, or develop some new skills or traits (i.e.- courage, patience, trust, perseverance) or some other important life lesson.  Look at it as an opportunity to learn to be resilient, then allow yourself to be grateful for that life lesson.

#5:  Think of a way to be helpful to another person or a group of people (or animals the environment, etc.)  

Brain research shows how giving of oneself releases neurochemicals in the brain that can lift people’s spirits, become more resilient and be a buffer against stress.

#6:  Think of whom and what you can ask for help or support.  

Like I said in Tip # 4, this trait of “healthy dependence” cannot be overemphasized.  Thinking about what you need and the person you would like to give it to you, frees you up from the illusion that you have to go on these challenges on your own.  Far too many people are soloists in their life, hiding their problems and needs.

#7:  Get educated about whatever the problems is you are dealing with.  

Find and do research on people that seemed to flourish who went through the stressful situation you are going through.  Learn about how they think, what their habits are and anything else that may have helped them be resilient during a similar challenge.  Know that brain research says that mild to moderate stress leads to more learning and the building of your brain.   

Let these “successful” people be your role models who point you to new internal resources you did not know you had.

My wish for you as you close out 2017 and begin 2018 is that you apply the tips to be more resilient I discussed in this blog and the one that precedes this one.  

I wish you the happiest of New Years and want you to utilize these resources of body and mind that could help you experience more of that happiness and peace!

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