Build and Develop Your Own Resilience
It is not always easy to remain upbeat during these times when we are all unsure of how long this will go on, what will happen after lock down and how to make sense of it all.
While I don’t have a crystal ball, I am sure of one thing the ability to take on board what has happened, adapt our behaviour and search for opportunities is what helps us to overcome and build resilience. We all have the ability to come out the other side stronger. However, many of us find our mental health affected by the current situation and need to dig deep to find our own resources and tap into the support available around us. It is even more important in this time that we keep and develop our connections and become a part of our own support network.
It is now vital we become mindful of our thought patterns and the possibility of developing detrimental predictions and speculation. There is no benefit in thinking of the worst case scenarios and leading our minds to possible reasons for anxiety that may never happen. We can however take this time to develop our resilience and create powerful perceptions. What happens to us is neither negative or positive until we attach meaning. Therefore focusing on what opportunities have arisen despite or maybe because of our current situation promotes and encourages a sense of purpose, ability and develops resilience. There are always choices when we retain the ability to remain calm.
You may think that is easier said than done, but fostering a new resourceful thinking pattern is completely possible when we become more conscious of our current patterns and recognise those that are unhelpful and require change.
Create Powerful Perceptions
- Identify a thought pattern that does not serve you: what are the consistent thoughts that trigger uncomfortable feelings
- Become aware of any accompanying pictures with this thought pattern – internal visualisations
- Take note of any internal dialogue that is triggered by the initial thought pattern.
- Notice what happens in your body when that thought pattern starts – what sensations do you feel and where?
- How do you react to these pictures, internal dialogue and bodily sensations?
- Have you always reacted in the same way and if not where did you learn to react this way?
- What do you believe when this thought pattern occurs?
- What decisions have you made about this thought pattern?
- Now ask yourself how many times you have experienced a positive outcome from this thought pattern?
- When do you think this thought pattern was created?Is the thought pattern still relevant to you today?
- What do you think the positive intention of this thought pattern and the following behaviour are?
- Is there a better way to achieve this positive intention?
- What resources do you now have that would assist you in gaining that positive intention?
- Is it possible to react differently to similar situations and choose a more resourceful state and reaction?
- Imagine being in that resourceful state. How would you look, sound, breathe. If it helps remember a time when you were in a highly resourceful state. Take time to breathe more deeply and see yourself now in that resourceful state. What do you notice about yourself now that you are feeling so (e.g. calm, peaceful, content)? What are you telling yourself about your current emotional state? Perhaps you are making a firm decision that it is possible to access this resourceful state whenever you want. Perhaps you are beginning to recognise it is a choice! Maybe you know now that you have more strength and ability to remain resourceful than you had realised. Become aware of any bodily sensations as you breathe more deeply and allow your mind to be calmer and still. Notice where you feel that new resourceful state and enjoy the feeling in your body. Take pleasure in being in control of your own state in a very relaxed and peaceful way. Letting go of any tension that had been present and surrendering to the natural flow of energy around you and running through you. Begin to get in touch with that sense of knowing in your body that helps you to remain calm and peaceful even when things around you are not going as you would like. Notice right now it is your choice how you react and you can choose to not react at all and just let those thoughts pass as they do not require your energy and focus. It is important to be consciously aware of where your energy is concentrated.
- Imagine now a future situation that would have before triggered that old pattern of thought. Re-access that resourceful state and give yourself time to know you are completely immersed in that state. Focus on seeing what you saw, hearing what you heard and feeling what you felt in your body. Become aware of how you would deal with this situation differently in this resourceful state. Notice how much easier it is to remain peaceful and to have access to the choices that are now available to you. Focus on how your new found inner dialogue supports this resourceful state. Enjoy the feeling of being supported by your own thoughts and feelings and how easily available your resources are.
Run through these steps a few times for any thought patterns that you have become aware of that do not support your ability to maintain positive perceptions. Resilience is the ability to take into account any presenting challenges, process the information available and search and implement the best way to deal with the challenge presented, overcome the issues and move beyond it. Resilience is developed and built with each challenge we experience. The ability to adapt and create positive perceptions allows us to foster an optimistic outlook that transcends any challenges that come our way!
‘We all have an unsuspected reserve of strength inside that emerges when life puts us to the test.’ Isabel Allende
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