SE­CRETS TO IN­NER PEACE

SOME­TIMES LIFE DEALS OUT A FEW CURVEBALLS. HERE’S HOW TO BUILD RE­SILIENCE SO YOU CAN COPE WITH WHAT­EVER IT THROWS AT YOU

Life & Style Weekend - - WELLBEING - KELLY REN­NIE Kelly is a per­sonal trainer, mother and au­thor of Busy Mum Syn­drome. She spe­cialises in on­line train­ing pro­grams for busy mums, which have earned praise from Kate Mid­dle­ton. READ MORE AT busy­mum­fit­ness.com

As we go through life we en­counter many ob­sta­cles and tran­si­tions that can cause in­ner turmoil and, ex­ter­nally, the ex­pe­ri­ence of fail­ure. Th­ese come in many forms: grief, so­cial iso­la­tion, job or re­la­tion­ship changes, even “pos­i­tive” ex­pe­ri­ences like the grow­ing up and leav­ing of a child or a loved one.

When th­ese things hap­pen we of­ten feel like it is the end of the world and it takes a lot of ef­fort not to go to pieces. We may wish we were tougher, had a harder shell, or had an in­ner equa­nim­ity to changes and chal­lenges that al­lows us to func­tion at a high level re­gard­less of our life’s events.

That’s where re­silience build­ing comes in.

When we learn to cope with stress in a con­struc­tive way, we gain a con­fi­dence and sat­is­fac­tion with life that is hard to repli­cate.

On the other hand, when stress is con­sis­tent, we can find our­selves deal­ing with other issues like anxiety, de­pres­sion, in­som­nia and a weak­ened im­mune sys­tem. Here’s how to build re­silience:

RE­CON­NECT

It doesn’t mat­ter how in­de­pen­dent you think you are, the truth is we all need sup­port groups and con­struc­tive so­cial sit­u­a­tions to help us man­age our stress­ful lives. When we have good friends and sup­port­ive so­cial cir­cles to lean on, we can share our wor­ries, lighten our emo­tional bur­den or even get di­rect help to deal with what is both­er­ing us. Don’t try and go it alone.

REFRAME

There are of­ten two sides to a sit­u­a­tion — the pos­i­tive and the neg­a­tive — and it’s up to us to de­cide which one of th­ese we will see. It’s easy to get down on our­selves if we are al­ways see­ing the bad side of events or peo­ple. Why not do the op­po­site? Look for the light or the good in things that hap­pen. Reframe old me­mories so that you un­der­stand the hid­den les­son and not just the pain as­so­ci­ated with them. You will feel lighter and better.

RE­LAX

With our on-the-go lifestyles and smart­phones, it can seem like a bad joke when some­one tells you to re­lax. How­ever, there are cer­tain things you can do to make it eas­ier to switch off. One of th­ese is to learn the art of med­i­ta­tion. A sim­ple mind­ful­ness

“WE ALL NEED SUP­PORT GROUPS AND CON­STRUC­TIVE SO­CIAL SIT­U­A­TIONS TO HELP US MAN­AGE STRESS­FUL LIVES.”

prac­tice has been shown to lower blood pres­sure and re­duce stress hor­mones in the body. You don’t have to sit on a cush­ion and con­tem­plate your navel ei­ther. More ac­tive ex­er­cises such as yoga and tai chi have also been shown to have a ben­e­fi­cial ef­fect.

RE­STRICT

We have spo­ken about see­ing the bright side of things. Now is the op­po­site side of that coin. Re­strict your in­dul­gence in the neg­a­tive. By neg­a­tive we mean neg­a­tive events, neg­a­tive mu­sic, neg­a­tive peo­ple … the list is end­less. When we con­sciously cut th­ese things out we find our gen­eral emo­tional state im­prov­ing au­to­mat­i­cally, which can then lead to better, brighter moods and av­enues of ex­pres­sion.

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