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Game-changing steps to build emotional resilience.

Apr 12, 2021

There is no constant but change so feel equipped and confident

As the world opens up, some might be excited about the roadmap stages, others might be fearing all the changes and what it might bring. For your mental wellbeing, it’s crucial you give yourself a check-up from the neck-up on a regular basis. If you feel your thoughts are not serving you well, it’s recognising that and knowing what you can do to promote healthy mental wellbeing.

  1. Know the warning signs.

First and foremost, recognising when things are starting to feel off-kilter is the start to becoming more emotionally resilient – you recognise when to head things off at the pass. You know you. You know when things start to feel too much; when you’re worrying persistently; when you feel the world is on your shoulders; things begin to feel overwhelming. That’s when you take your foot off the gas and slow everything down. Give yourself some space and time to take stock and re-calibrate, to think about the nature of your thoughts about the situation.

  1. Intentional thinking

When you start feeling out of control, a helpful question to ask yourself is: ‘Why are you thinking like this?’ It helps to have that self-awareness and pare back to the reason behind your thoughts. You can run your brain, rather than allow it to run you, so don’t allow airtime for the thoughts which send you down a rabbit hole. Amplify the thoughts which support you and move you forward.

  1. MUMMS it

Make Up My Mind Slowly is a powerful tool to use if you start to feel overwhelmed by a situation or perhaps requests made of you and your time. At each stage of the roadmap of Lockdown easing, you move at your own pace. You do what feels comfortable for you. By MUMMSing something, you are creating some time and space to decide what you feel is right for you. We very often give a knee-jerk reaction and regret it later. Instead, make a more informed decision and remember, saying no is OK. You can say that ‘it isn’t against you, it’s for me’ – it’s an empowering stance to take.

  1. Celebrate the ‘wins’.

Keep a Victory Log. It may sound a strange thing to do but noting all the ‘wins’ you achieve, means that when you feel at a low ebb, when you might feel you can’t manage in a situation, maybe you feel disorganised or can’t ever keep a handle on anything, reading through your Victory Log will remind you this simply isn’t true. Those ‘wins’ demonstrate to you that you can handle situations that life throws at you. Sometimes your version of success is getting out of bed in the morning and showing up for your family – being there for them when all you want to do is hide under the duvet. For someone else, it might be powering through the fifth Zoom call of the day and for another, it might be giving a kick-ass presentation and winning a new client account. It’s all relevant and builds our confidence and emotional resilience.

  1. Adopt an attitude of gratitude.

Once you begin to focus on gratitude, it will help you to be more open to opportunity and the good things in life and Confirmation Bias will kick in. This is when we have the tendency to search for, interpret, favour, and recall information in a way that affirms our prior belief. If you believe that good things happen to you and are more consciously aware of your outlook on life, then more often than not, you’ll find yourself surrounded by good stuff – thus generating even more good stuff! Whilst it obviously doesn't 100% guarantee it, you're much more likely to be spotting the opportunities and possibilities in life if you have an attitude of gratitude.

Make a habit of writing in your gratitude journal each evening; you’ll be amazed at how quickly it fills up.

  1. Be conscious of your expectations.

Sometimes we place high expectations on ourselves – to be perfect and to do everything to our best ability. Maybe it’s at work, maybe we want to be the best partner, parent or friend. Being all things to everyone can take its toll and so its important to be kind to ourselves. It’s not about lowering your standards but questioning where this need for perfection in every single aspect of your life comes from. Who is putting these expectations on you? Is it someone else, or is in fact you? Question the need for perfection and realise that less than perfect is OK. Imperfect action is such a great phrase – it gets us moving forward and we learn as we do.

  1. Know what you can and cannot control.

The Serenity Prayer is such a powerful mindset to adopt:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Things you can control: the nature of your thoughts, your emotions, your behaviour, your responses to people and situations.

Things you cannot control: other people’s thoughts, emotions, actions and behaviour, their responses, nor their happiness, the weather, passing of time, the past, your hair most of the time. Well, I can’t mine…

Focusing your time and energy on what you can control, feels so empowering and means you are living life consciously and intentionally.

  1. Tell yourself it is so and it will be.

With positive affirmations, it is possible to reset your brain and end those negative thought patterns. Positive affirmations are a deliberately constructed sentence, which, when repeated, realign neural networks and patterns in the brain, creating and sustaining a positive self-belief. You could try: ‘I have the resilience and self-belief to keep moving forward,’ or: ‘I am strong, capable and calm’ and ‘I am fully responsible for the creation of my happiness’. Your assumptive affirmations should be 80% about who you want to be and 20% about what you want to have. Affirmations repeated out loud to yourself daily – a kind of mantra if you will – will also help to build your self-esteem and resilience. Repeat at least twice daily - after cleaning your teeth is a good time.

  1. Have fun.

The big wheel keeps on turning and we work to pay the bills but are you working to live or living to work? We all have the perfect work/life balance – because we will always work the exact number of hours we want to work, according to our values. If you ever want to know where you’d like to be in that exact moment in time, check out where your feet are. What you are doing in that moment aligns with your values – it sits most comfortably with you. If there feels friction though e.g. you start to feel stressed, something needs to change. Maybe working the hours you do is taking its toll on you and you feel less resilient to challenges that might arise. Maybe it’s about working less and having more fun in your life. All work and no play…

In this brave new world, we can meet up with friends, family, colleagues out of work and have fun. It’s so important for our mental wellbeing to stop and smell the roses, to make time to take an interest in our kids’ latest fad, or to take them to the park; eat, drink, be merry and enjoy life. Life is for living and work is just one component of that.

  1. Ask for help.

No man is an island and from time to time, seeking help might be the answer. It’s OK not to be OK but it’s not OK to stay that way. It’s recognising if things are getting on top of you and reaching out – to a trusted family member, friend or colleague. Maybe you’d prefer to speak to your GP, or a helpline. You can get help and advice on identifying healthy coping mechanisms.

So much in life is beyond our control and once we can manage our mindset around that, we can learn the tools and strategies to ensure we are prepared and well-equipped to handle the curve balls thrown our way.

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Would you like help getting your mindset in check?

Do you want to feel more emotionally resilient? Do you want to feel more in control of the nature of your thoughts to enable you to feel more confident?

The Mindset Coaching Membership can help you understand the tools and strategies needed. With Masterclass Teachings + Coaching + Accountability, we will help you to create the future you want. Find out more here.

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