Bouncing back

August 18, 2017

It’s difficult to stay resilient when life throws us curve balls. Colleen Morris* shares how to bounce back when life becomes difficult.

 

Resilience is essential to our health, happiness and wellbeing. However, it can be eroded when we become overwhelmed by the unpredictable events that intrude into our lives. So how do we survive the events that are beyond our control?


The answer lies in our daily determination to be intentional about cultivating a positive, and therefore more resilient, state of mind. Here are six strategies that, when practised consistently, will help you to build resilience.

 

Limit your use of social media and news
Social media and other news outlets are often an unrelenting source of bad news, yet we find them addictive. We have a constant need to know what is happening next, and find ourselves going back to the next source for more information.


Our fascination and curiosity makes us a prisoner to the latest news, which can elevate our anxiety. Setting a time limit on how long to use social media and read the news will diminish the impact this has on our resilience.

 

Stretch each day
Anxiety and stress are stored in our body—tightening muscles, headaches, nausea, stomach-aches, diarrhoea, constipation and indigestion can all be side effects of this.


Whether you choose to do yoga, Pilates or your own set of stretches, the important thing is to keep stretching daily to prevent stress shutting down your body.

 

Pay attention to nature

Nature is a natural stress reducer, so take the time to absorb colour, pattern, movement and whatever catches your eye. If you live and work in a concrete jungle, look at the sky and observe cloud formations, or an isolated tree or plant. Take the time to breathe in its life-giving energy and recognise how it makes you feel.

 

Repeat a positive affirmation
By choosing a positive affirmation like “I am worthy” or “I will have a good day” and repeating this to yourself through the day, your mind will begin to believe it. You may not be convinced of the truth of the affirmation immediately, but after a while it will become second nature to you.

 

Smile

Have you noticed how you feel when someone smiles at you? We feel warmer, less fearful and anxious, and welcomed. On the other hand, a frown sends the message that we are intrusive, irritating or unwelcome. We feel lighter when we smile and also extend this happiness to others by inviting them to smile back.

 

Make a grateful journal
At the end of each day write what you are grateful for in a journal, and your resilience will increase. Grateful people are happier and easier to be around. By expressing your gratitude, you focus on what is good and positive in your life. This will only take a couple of minutes each day, and it will reduce your stress and create a positive mindset.

 

*Colleen Morris is a family therapist and counsellor at Watersedge Counselling in Geelong.

 

Tags: Salvation Army Australia

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