Monthly Archives: May 2016

How did your kindest act make you feel?

I remember the feeling I had when I paid for my parents to go on their anniversary honeymoon, I was so happy I could say thank you to them in this way for everything they had done for me over the years. It genuinely gave me such joy to see them so happy, it was as if I was going on holiday myself.

 

What’s the kindest thing you have ever done for someone? How did doing this kind act make you feel? This could be as simple as giving money to a homeless person so they could sleep at a hostel that night or even comforting a friend in need during tough times.

 

Please spend just a little time sharing your story, your story may well inspire someone to reach out and act in kindness or even do our thirty day kindness challenge, spreading kindness even further. The more we communicate how transformative kindness can be, the more blessings we can pass on to others and also ourselves.

Next Month’s Hot Topic – Kindness and it’s inextricable Link to Long-Term Happiness

 

Next month’s hot topic is particularly close to my heart and is called ‘What’s in it for me? The transformative power of kindness and its inextricable link to long-term happiness’. The series looks at how, by making just a few minor changes, we can reap the benefits of long term happiness by being kinder.

 

The further reading for this month’s series is not only uplifting but incredibly poignant; the book’s title is  ‘The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life’ by Piero Ferrucci.  The Dalia Lama lists it as “A book after my own heart!’ with topics including honesty, warmth, forgiveness, mindfulness, patience, generosity, gratitude, service and joy amongst others.

 

As part of this month’s hot topic I have a thirty day kindness challenge to do one kind thing a day for thirty days so we can test the theory for ourselves and see our happiness soar to new heights. Join me in exploring a more compassionate and happy existence as we embark on a kindness project like no other.

 

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead,

 

x X x Jenny x X x

Why finding the silver lining in life works best for resilience

Almost everyone goes through challenging, tough times. After having been negative in the past and viewing difficulty as having no redeeming qualities, to now being positive and seeking the silver lining, I can say that my approach now has infinitely helped my resilience. Indeed many who have faced adversity find this, that a large factor in building resilience is being able to see the positive side of life’s challenges.

 

When we seek to find the silver lining it helps us to not dwell on the negative, adds to our sense of life meaning and purpose (for example I believe my breakdown positively impacted the person I have become) and ultimately propels us forward. The silver lining of life’s trials has many forms, whether it be learning a life lesson, developing inner strength, developing character, changing the course of one’s life for the better, not taking life for granted, increasing intimacy with those we love or discovering who our true friends are in the first place.

 

For me, learning to seek the silver lining didn’t come naturally. It took a lot of conditioning to be positive to begin to recognize the benefits of life’s trials. Here are some soul seeking questions I asked myself so I could better understand the benefits to the challenges I experienced, I hope they will enable you to see some positives amongst the pain, however small.

More

Why having a relaxation haven in your home releases stress and boosts resilience

Over the years I’ve come to believe that releasing tension is critical if we are to develop greater resilience. There are so many ways we can unwind, each extremely beneficial to our well being and resilience. One of the ways that has helped me is to create a relaxation haven in my home. A place to visualize, meditate and find calm.

 

For me this is my bedroom but it can be any room of your choosing, so long as it serves as a place where you can get away from it all. This needn’t be expensive so here are my top tips for creating a relaxation haven in your very own home.

More

Why being brave will make you more resilient

On the surface bravery and resilience may not seem to have much in common. Does it not follow however, that having the courage to face scary situations will inevitably make you stronger? In my experience consistently facing our fears makes us stronger and more confident, so that when tough times hit, we know we will have more experience handling tough situations, thereby increasing our resilience.

 

But how do we consistently face what scares us? Below are some of my top tips for getting started on facing our fears.

 

  1. List activities you are scared of eg driving, cycling, conflict, heights

 

  1. List two ways to face your fear for each activity, one low fear option, one medium fear option and one high fear option

 

Eg

 

Driving – practicing with someone in the car with you (low fear), driving in rush hour with someone in the car (medium fear) and driving solo (high fear)

 

Cycling – cycling in a park with cycle paths (low fear), cycling in rough terrain (medium fear) and cycling on the road (high fear)

 

Conflict – asserting yourself over something small (low fear), bringing up a put down and asserting yourself to the person who said it (medium fear) and asserting yourself over something important (high fear)

 

Heights – going up steps with holes in them (low fear), going to the top of a tall building and looking at the view (medium fear) and skydiving (high fear)

More

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

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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.

  More

Is there ever a right time to give up? What to do when what you’re doing isn’t working

I’ve thought about this issue a lot over the years. What to do when you don’t seem to be making progress and you feel like nothing is working. The more I pondered the question as to whether there is ever a right time to give up, the more certain I became that if something is truly important to you, you owe it to yourself to keep trying.

 

This philosophy relates to goals more than relationships as, although I hold a similar view with relationships, ultimately, relationships need the commitment of two people to truly make things work in the long term. This isn’t to say that trying different strategies to save a relationship isn’t worthwhile, in fact I would advise you to do so, but in the end both people need to want to repair the relationship as a bare minimum.

 

In terms of goals, even (and perhaps especially) grand life goals – the type of goals that would genuinely be a dream come true – I firmly believe you need to have unrelenting grit. For example, one of my life goals is to have a book published. If after years of hard work I seemed to reach a dead end I may well want to give up and even if I didn’t, I might not be able to imagine that it would ever be published if I felt discouraged.

 

So what should I do?

 

I would rest and re-strategize.

More

Do you believe in self-fulfilling prophesies? Here’s how to make them work for you!

Have you ever heard the expression, believe in yourself and others will too? I’ve always agreed with this saying, even when I found it incredibly hard to put it into practice. When others see high levels of self belief it is catching, as soon as you exert confidence and self belief others will often buy into your success too.

 

When you genuinely believe in yourself you recognize opportunities that align with your goals easier; you tend to have more perseverance, determination and grit in working towards your goals, consequently your confidence in a successful outcome becomes a self fulfilling prophesy!

 

How does this help you increase your resilience? Together with your reason why, if you believe you can and will achieve your goal, you’re more likely to view the future positively, thereby increasing your determination and grit to get back on track during difficult times.

 

Ways to foster greater levels of self belief:

More

How finding your reason why will see you through tough times

One thing that was lacking during the toughest seasons of my life was my reason why. I lacked a clear incentive to recover beyond just wanting to feel better and so, without a clear idea of what I was recovering for, getting back on track was harder. Today I have many reasons why. My passion for creativity and writing and my goal to publish a book, my desire to excel in my career and one day buy a house and most important of all, my relationships with friends and family.

 

These reasons why have provided me with a greater level of determination to practice self care so that I avoid burn out and, when tough times have hit, have encouraged me to put all my energies into getting better through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, stress management, seeing friends and family and using positivity. Having a clear reason why, something that both inspires you and fills you with excitement for the future, will greatly increase your resilience when tough times hit, motivating you to move forwards towards a bright future.

 

Some common reasons why are:

More

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

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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.

More

« Older Entries