When we are under stress it is easy to default to negative patterns of behaviour which lead to fear, self-doubt, emotional pain and sometimes despair.
Building resilience is a way to weather the storms of our minds and to find a sense of balance and calm, no matter what life bring us. It is easy to start beating ourselves up when we are having a bad day or week or month. It is easy to be hard on ourselves and blame ourselves for our own perceived faults and weaknesses.
It is harder to look more deeply into what is making us feel bad and to be kind to ourselves as we heal our lives.
“Treating myself like a precious object will make me stronger,” Julia Cameron.
This quote from Julia Cameron in the hugely popular self-help book “The Artists Way” can be triggering. We are not taught to treat ourselves this way and at first this quote looks like it is encouraging selfishness and an entitled attitude.
On further reflection we see that this is not true and that to be kind to ourselves is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and our world.
When we can be truly loving to ourselves and to give ourselves the nurturing, understanding and love that we need, we find that parts of ourselves we have shunned or rejected are handed back to us and we are able to see ourselves more clearly and to appreciate that our flaws are just parts of our psyche that need a little extra love and tender care.
Building connections is a sure fire wire to find more resilience. When we are feeling down our world shrinks down to the size of our bedroom. We can challenge this energy by going out and being willing to connect to with other people. Ask them how they are and really listen to their response. Connect with them and realize that you are just like every other human being who suffers.
Even better, you could volunteer for a group that helps people on the margins of society. Giving your time to the City Mission or a group that helps the homeless is a great way to reset your attitude. When you are able to use your life to help others you realize that you are not alone in your pain and that your presence can help others who are really struggling.
Mindfulness is another way to bring extra calm and resilience into your life. When you are beset by difficult emotions, just slowing down and listening to the sound of your breath can really help you to come back to a place of balance.
There are many apps that offer free meditations and mindfulness exercises such as Head Space, Calm, Buddify, Sattva and Stop Breathe and Think.
Love yourself more, connect with others, be kind and feel better.