I often talk about the importance of a morning routine.
With a good morning routine, you are priming yourself for positivity and setting yourself up to be better equipped mentally and emotionally for what the day brings.
So, we could say that what you are also doing is cultivating a certain degree of resilience.
Resilience is term we typically associate with strength and perhaps ‘toughness’ but look a little deeper and you will find that the true qualities of resilient people are far from the tough guy/gal persona we might imagine. Now this certainly doesn’t mean that resilient people aren’t strong, but it’s more of a soft strength that we’re talking about here.
With COVID-19 we are all facing challenges right now in one way or another. And so, for this blog post I thought it would be useful to explore how you can nurture the qualities of resiliency within yourself to better navigate whatever it is that you are experiencing right now.
Look for the positive
One the key traits of a resilient person is positivity. If you are assuming the worst or thinking negatively you will not see the opportunities and the possibilities right in front of you. I know that might sound tricky for some especially right now, but if you look for the positive and the good things, I can promise you, you will find them. Remember Sir Isaac Newton’s law that any action has an equal and opposite reaction? Forces exist as pairs or opposites. This means that for anything to exist, it’s opposing equal must also exist as a reality or as potential.
Regulate your emotions
Most people have far more power over their mind than they realise. You get to choose what you think and therefore how you feel. Think negatively and you will feel bad, think positively and you will feel good — it’s that simple! Now I’m not encouraging magical thinking and the bypassing of emotions, but in reference to the point above; our experience of life really is dependent on what we look for. When we are stressed, we naturally look for the potential threats. Therefore, it is critically important that we do whatever we can to manage our emotions.
Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx and one of America’s first self-made female billionaires puts much of her success down to her mindset. Often in interviews she shares how her Father used to ask her when she was younger; “What did you fail at today?” so they could celebrate her failures. Do you dwell on perceived mistakes or do you learn from them? The old adage is true that ‘what doesn’t break you makes you stronger’. And notice I said ‘perceived failures’, because life has a funny way of working out; there’s usually always a silver lining, even if it’s a lesson — you just have to look for it.
A healthy perspective
The previous three points are all about having a healthy perspective. Are you able to rationalise your thoughts? When a client is catastrophising and zooming in on the worst-case scenario, I ask them; ‘What would be the best-case scenario here?’. Because if you can imagine the worst-case scenario then there must also be a best case. How often do we focus on that? When you’re stressed, your mind won’t automatically go there, so you have to catch yourself and consciously choose to question your thoughts. If you’re really struggling with this, ask yourself; ‘What would I say to a friend who was going through this?’ With distance and a lack of emotional involvement it’s usually far easier to take a balanced perspective.
If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that life is always in a state of change. Nothing stands still. Yet most human beings love to feel safe and in control, we find it very hard to surrender and let go. And this is where we suffer. We worry about what we can’t control yet the truth is, worrying doesn’t actually solve anything. You can probably see by now that if you embody the traits above, you would feel fairly accepting of change. Cultivating faith in something greater than yourself, whether that be religious, spiritual or based on quantum science and energetics, allows you to let go and trust that it’s all working out perfectly.
Look after yourself
I’ve mentioned that stress makes us look for the negative and worst-case scenario. Why? Because that’s what stress hormones are there to do; to protect us from danger. Your body and mind literally don’t know fact from fiction and so your body responds to a fearful thought by releasing the stress hormones that prepare you for fight or flight. If we are chronically stressed, then we subconsciously scan our environment for potential threats. It is therefore super important that we look after ourselves both physically, mentally and emotionally to maintain a calm, balanced state. It really is very simple: Eat well, get enough sleep and exercise enough but not too much, and learn to manage stress. When you take care of your mind and body, you’re better able to cope effectively with the challenges in your life.
Have a good support system
People who have strong connections at work are more resilient to stress and are happier in their role. This also applies to your personal life, if you have a good group of friends then you have people to fall back on when you need support. This also goes for mentors, counsellors, therapists or coaches. You need people who have your back. However, a word of caution here; you are who you surround yourself with. So be very selective about who you go to for advice and support – they of course need to have a healthy, balanced perspective themselves!
In summary; prioritise your health, learn to manage your mind and cultivate a trust in something greater than yourself.