MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS: Building your resiliency
Given the last year or so, even those of us who are usually sources of support for others, may find ourselves feeling deplete of those things that keep up moving forward. It seems that having some level of nervousness or anxiety about the uncertainty of the future have become normal. Uncertainty occurs when the familiar shifts quickly and the changes are unpredictable. In these situations, we don’t have time to adjust emotionally to the shifts occurring in the present and we cannot plan very much for the future, as that may change quickly too. Our human brains are hardwired to go towards high alert when faces with this kind of uncertainty that recent societal events have helped create.
Re-building our emotional resiliency can be the key to getting us through these situations without the emotional fallout. Being resilient strengthens our ability to deal with uncertainty and the emotional discomfort that comes with it. Here are some tips that may help each of us to build our emotional resiliency and better adapt to current uncertainties many of us are facing.
Know where you are emotionally: Several times through the day, take a couple minutes to be aware of your current emotional state. Pay attention to your breathing for a moment to help stabilize your mind. Then be aware of the general sensations of your body. Use the last ten seconds or so to have just a little warm regard for yourself. Just taking this time to check in on your current emotional state can move you to a more positive one.
Engage in mood boosters: We can change our moods quickly by getting involved, even for a very short time, in enjoyable activities and physical activities such as exercise, meditation, accomplishment-oriented activities, healthy fun, preparing a healthy meal. In fact, even eight hours of good, relaxed sleep can work to boost your mood.
Create a joyful moment for yourself: Remember a joy- filled memory from years ago or just from a few hours ago. If you cannot recall one then create one with natural pleasures…pleasant smells, enjoying the sunset, beholding a blue sky, listening to music. Spending a few minutes creating or recalling the details of a joyful experience can shift your emotional state to a more uplifted and positive one. After doing this, try to do the emotional check in described above and notice the change.
Acts of kindness: Research has shown us that helping others is a strong predictor of improved personal well-being. The popular ‘random acts of kindness’ initiative was supported by research that showed how altruistic behavior that is motivated by concern for others, without the expectation of reward, is associated with improved personal well-being. In short, do for others, expect nothing, reap the benefits.
Sharing positive moments: If we are staying alert to it, every day we come across opportunities to engage with positive connections with others. During times of uncertainty it becomes more important that we do not miss these opportunities. Small things like sharing a meal, giving a compliment, sharing a joke can contribute to building the foundations of emotional resiliency.
Bill Mory, Ed.S., is licensed therapist in private practice, in Texoma. He is a Master Trainer in Emotional Brain Training and is an active member of the local behavioral health network and a provider of workplace training on Mindfulness and other topics. Learn more at www.morytherapy.com. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Herald Democrat.