Counsellor and group therapist at the Nightingale Hospital in London, Richard Stephenson gives some practical and workable tips on how to feel more stable in this unpredictable and changing world. He recommends a three-pronged approach that nourishes your body, mind and spirit.
Human beings like stability and when it’s threatened, we tend to go into fight (anxiety) or flight (depression) mode. It is important to find ways to stabilise our internal world – our thoughts, emotions and feelings – when our physical wellbeing and external world are changing. After all, it’s our internal world which creates the lens through which we choose to experience the world around us.
Thankfully, there are a few simple but highly effective techniques which virtually anyone can follow to help to build their resilience…
1 Nourish your body
It’s simple but effective. Drink plenty of water, eat plenty of fruit and veggies. Nourishing your body also includes exercise, so keep it moving. Turn up the volume to your favourite music and dance!
2 Nourish your mind
Reduce your media consumption to 15 minutes a day, and make sure it’s from a credible and reliable source.
Practise staying in the ‘here and now’, instead of projecting into the future, or living in the past, as this deflects us from living in the present, which is an invaluable gift.
Show kindness to someone. Our mind is a muscle and it’s important to use it for thoughts which help to create a balanced mindset.
Practise mindfulness by breathing deeply to ground yourself. It’s a real game-changer because it can help to reduce anxiety. When we’re stressed, our breathing becomes shallow as our lungs aren’t working to full capacity. In doing so, it there is a chance of triggering the flight or fight mode. To avoid this, try slowly inhaling and exhaling deeply for 60 seconds. You can always use daily habits as triggers to remind you to focus on your breathing, such as washing your hands. There are also plenty of mindfulness audios and apps you can use for support. My favourites are ninasamuelcamps.com or www.Buddhify.com. And don’t forget YouTube – it’s also a great resource for mindfulness video content.
3 Nourish your spirit
Use technology to connect with your friends and family daily or write your thoughts and feelings in a diary or journal.
Try to give yourself daily positive, motivational statements. Positive messages such as ‘everything will be okay’ are incredibly motivating and encouraging.
Listen to uplifting podcasts and music.
Enhance your emotional intelligence by embracing any uncomfortable feelings you may feel and express those emotions, as suppressing them will impact upon your wellbeing.