These days, we hear a lot about resilience in life, and we need it more than ever. Unfortunately, much of the advice given isn’t always beneficial. It is frequently overwhelming or impractical.
For example, you know you should exercise, but it won’t help you if you don’t have the energy. And how do you “feel your emotions” when you’ve blocked them out in order to get through the day? Such advice only adds to your stress and can make you feel worse.
To improve ourselves, we must begin with small habits
Rather than viewing strength and resilience as major goals, consider them as traits that you will cultivate over time. A good place to begin is with a few small actions that provide instant gratification. With consistent practice, these will become small habits that will increase your strength and resilience in times of adversity.
Here are 4 simple habits to help you build strength and resilience.
These seemingly insignificant actions can have a significant impact.
Enjoy the present moment.
The best parts of life are frequently found in small moments of pleasure and connection. Your first cup of coffee, a child’s hug, or admiration for a flower in bloom Even in the best of circumstances, we all have these moments.
Paying attention to the small enjoyable moments that occur throughout the day and anchoring them into memory will go a long way toward keeping you in a positive frame of mind. This encourages positive emotion while interrupting negative rumination.
Concentrate on positive emotions.
All emotions are adaptive, which means that even what we consider “negative” emotions play a positive role in our lives. However, “positive” emotions have a special power.
Positive emotions are thought to have evolved to help us broaden our outlook beyond the immediate crises at hand and to help us maintain supportive social connections.
Fortunately, you do not have to wait for positive emotions to arise naturally. Positive emotions can be induced by watching something cute or funny (which may explain why cat videos are so popular), focusing your attention on something or someone you care about (such as a tree, artwork, person, or pet), or moving in a pleasurable way (such as dancing to an upbeat song).
Take a long, deep breath.
This age-old wisdom is scientifically supported because our breath is the quickest way to relax our nervous system. Slow and deep breathing also ensures that oxygen reaches our brain and muscles. Deep breaths, when practised over time, improve cognitive and psychological flexibility. Even one deep breath can be rejuvenating and provide the pause you need to make better decisions.
Perform a menial task.
You may not see a connection between making your bed and achieving your long-term life goals, but taking any small action provides energy and demonstrates that you are capable of accomplishing things.