The Resilience Remedy; How to Bounce Back From Tough Times Fast Part Four

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we looked at behaviors and beliefs to help us build up our resilience, this week we discover the last fundamental steps in order to foster greater resilience.

 

Invest In Relationships

 

Almost all of the resilient people I know invest in their relationships with family and friends. They know that when tough times hit these are the people who will rally around and sustain you. It’s so important to nurture your relationships, it boosts your emotional health and ensures you have a strong support network you can call on no matter what you may be going through. For more on creating and maintaining deep nourishing friendships please read my article titled ‘Why Building Strong Friendships is Important for Our Health’.

 

Ask For Help

 

One of the things resilient people do really well is to ask for help when they are facing trials. They openly share the cause of their distress with their friends and family so they receive the support that they need. Such help and support is vital to anyone who is going through a rocky period and the strength it offers you will be indispensable in handling your troubles. Similarly, they seek out help in the form of therapy and mentors when they feel they need additional support and encouragement.

 

Be Brave and Have Courage

 

True bravery is not in the absence of fear but in conquering fear when it presents itself and that takes courage. Having the courage to confront what scares you will foster greater levels of inner strength, increasing your confidence that no matter what comes your way you will be able to deal with it.

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The Resilience Remedy; How to Bounce Back From Tough Times Fast Part Three

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we explored what to do to prevent set backs and breakdowns and looked at some behaviors and beliefs to increase our resilience. This week we continue in our quest to boost our resilience.

 

Have Healthy Habits

 

Adopting healthy habits is one of the quickest ways to boost your lust for life and even better it helps to reduce stress, anxiety and low mood. Eating loads of fruit and veg, drinking plenty of water and exercising at least three times a week will strengthen your resilience tenfold. Sleep is equally important and it’s vital that you get at least eight hours rest most nights. For more on exercise please read my article titled ‘New Year, New You: How to Exercise Your Way to Wellbeing’ and if you have trouble getting enough sleep I would check out Sleepio, a fantastic CBT based online course.

 

Knowing Your Reason Why

 

Having a clear reason why will both motivate and inspire you to lead a life of passion and, if tough times hit, will encourage you to keep going. For example, I chose to turn my breakdown into an opportunity to share what helped me. This reason why and purpose has given me direction at times when I would have otherwise been lost.

 

Plan Ahead and Be Prepared

 

Planning ahead is one of the best things we can do to ensure we approach life successfully. Being strategic in this way not only increases our chances of a positive outcome but streamlines life’s complexity into an organized flow. Having a backup plan if things go awry is also key so any curveballs can be navigated with ease. Ultimately, by planning ahead and being prepared, you will feel more in control which is critical when increasing your resilience.

 

For more on both problem solving please read my article titled ‘How to navigate any problem with ease’ and for more on creating goals please see my article titled ‘How to turn your dreams into reality’ – these two articles will walk you through calmly facing life’s obstacles and the process of creating goals which will help you to tailor your problem solving in a way that breaks things down into logical manageable steps as with any goal.

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The Resilience Remedy; How to Bounce Back From Tough Times Fast Part Two

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we discovered the signs to look out for when we are at risk of a set back or a breakdown. This week we look at what to do to reduce the severity of either a set back or a breakdown and how we can begin building up our resilience pro-actively.

 

What to do to if you are showing any of the signs listed in last Monday’s series post and how to prevent things getting worse

 

If you are or do experience any of the risky signs that you are headed for a breakdown I cannot emphasize enough how vital it is that you seek professional help by both going to your doctor and a therapist. Please go to the UKCP (UK residents) or APA (American residents) sites which have ‘search for a therapist’ facilities on both websites. If for whatever reason you cannot seek professional help in the form of therapy (and please do absolutely everything you can to make it possible) I would recommend visiting your doctor and potentially getting him or her to sign you off work for stress.

 

If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or stress to whatever degree I would also encourage you to look through my best resources page which is packed with excellent CBT based free online courses – all of which are recommended by top therapists. Likewise, my  further reading page has some amazingly good CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) based books which are recommended by top therapists and will help you on your journey to recovery more than you could imagine.

 

Similarly, if you are suffering with stress I would also highly recommend reading my CBT based stress management article titled ‘Tis’ The Season to be Stressed; How to Leave Stress Behind You for Good’ which holds true no matter what time of year and could substantially reduce your stress levels. It explains exactly what to do when you feel overwhelmed and goes into detail as to how to reduce your demands and increase your resources which should result in a considerable reduction in stress.

 

But how can we develop greater resilience as a preventative measure against future upsets? In the passages below I have outlined the tools for resilience that I discovered in therapy and have also added several additional tools and beliefs that I have adopted since beginning my own personal development journey. All of the tools helped me develop high levels of resilience and I am positive they will help your resilience soar to new heights so you can quickly get back on track when hard times hit.

 

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Why you might be missing out on a longer life!

Did you know that resilient people live longer, are healthier, are more successful, have happier relationships and generally kick ass? Not only do resilient people adapt to change and stressors easier but, as a result, they are less likely to face depression, which is steadily on the rise in both the UK and USA.

 

Fortunately the explosion of positive psychology throughout the world has meant that we are better understanding how to actively develop more resilience in advance of when difficulty emerges – which is exactly the area I have chosen to focus on within this month’s hot topic.

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How resilient are you? Pop quiz

 

If you want to cultivate greater levels of resilience in advance of when tough times hit, please read this month’s series titled ‘The Resilience Remedy; How to Bounce Back from Tough Times Fast’

 

Wishing you all the best,

 

x X x Jenny x X x

Can you really actively cultivate resilience?

Throughout my life it has been true to say that the more difficulty I faced, the more resilient I became. However, as I began to practice more personal development strategies in life I’ve also come to realize that I needn’t have waited for difficulty in order to develop more resilience – I realized that there are concrete things which we can all do to proactively cultivate more resilience in advance of when tough times hit.

 

Should you wish to cultivate more resilience in advance of facing difficulty here are my extra top tips that can’t be found anywhere else, including in my series posts on Mondays!

 

  • Release built up tension at the end of the day by having a hot shower / bath with calming bubble bath / shower cream and chill out music

 

  • Write down all the things you have to be grateful for (a sentence a day journal is a great way of doing this) – this will encourage you to appreciate your life more and give you a more balanced perspective when things go wrong

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The Resilience Remedy; How to Bounce Back From Tough Times Fast Part One

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

I’m a firm believer that when you need to learn a lesson, life throws challenges your way highlighting what you need to learn until you have no option but to learn it. Having been depressed since five because of bullying I was constantly dealing with challenges which, in later life, caused me to have a breakdown. It was as if life was trying to point me in the direction of the coping mechanisms I needed in order to live a happy, productive and meaningful life.

 

After each episode of depression I continuously failed to change my coping mechanisms and life strategy, so life just threw bigger and bigger challenges my way until my breakdown caused me to hit rock bottom and take stock of my life. And, as it turned out, rock bottom was the best thing to ever happen to me. It made me sit up and finally pay attention to life’s signs that how I was trying to cope wasn’t working. I got the help I needed by going to therapy which gave me invaluable life skills that would stay with me and steer me back on course to where I was meant to be.

 

Therapy provided me with strategies to monitor what caused my setbacks so I could effectively predict when I was most at risk and use my newfound skills to help prevent setbacks preemptively, or if that wasn’t possible, reduce both the severity and length of them. In short, therapy taught me resilience and how to bounce back from tough times fast.

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Wars of the Mind; How to Effectively Overcome Anxiety Part Four

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we explored the lifestyle changes which serve to reduce anxiety. This week we delve into how Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help us to halt thinking traps altogether with just a little practice.

 

Actively Axing Anxiety Through CBT

 

I cannot begin to tell you just how profound an impact CBT has had upon my life and this article would not be complete without my strongly encouraging you to read the free ‘Panic Stations’ CCI InfoPax as featured on my best resources page.

 

Whilst lifestyle choices can certainly lessen anxiety symptoms, if you want to see a vast improvement and learn how to effectively manage and considerably reduce your anxiety I would highly recommend working through this exceptional CBT workbook.

 

Within this workbook I would recommend taking the following modules:

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Wars of the Mind; How to Effectively Overcome Anxiety Part Three

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we looked at the thinking traps that can lead us astray and contribute towards our anxiety. This week we explore the healthy lifestyle changes we can make which serve to reduce our anxiety.

 

Lifestyle Choices to Reduce the Effects of Anxiety

 

Offer your anxiety understanding

 

The first critical step to counteract your anxiety is somewhat counter intuitive and comes from teachings in self-compassion. Surprisingly, in order to overcome anxiety and ‘win the war’ you must first accept its presence in your life and recognize it is your minds way of trying to protect you against a perceived threat or coming to any type of harm. Once you appreciate this you can have a greater level of compassion and understanding towards your anxiety rather than resisting it which often only causes your symptoms to increase. Remember, in psychology, what you resist, persists!

 

Exercise

 

Like most things, anxiety is profoundly affected by exercise. Just five minutes of continuous exercise has been found to reduce the effects of anxiety, so just think what half an hour could do. If you are averse to high impact exercise psychologist studies have found that a ten minute walk could be as effective as a forty-five minute workout and relieve symptoms for up to several hours. Furthermore, if you exercise regularly the effects of anxiety can reduce long term. To explore how to incorporate exercise into your life on a regular basis please read my article titled ‘New Year, New You’.

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Wars of the Mind; How to Effectively Overcome Anxiety Part Two

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we examined the differences between anxiety and stress. This week we look at the thinking traps that exasperate and contribute towards anxiety and how to begin to notice and avoid them.

 

Thinking Traps to Notice and Avoid

 

There are several thinking traps that we can fall into which can either cause or contribute towards anxiety.

 

The key is to notice when we exhibit such thinking and dismiss the credibility of those thoughts, thereby stopping these thinking patterns becoming established.

 

I have listed them the most common thinking traps below so you too can recognize them when they emerge.

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