Do You Freak Out Over Every Little Thing? Here's How To Get Resilient
Do you fly off the handle a little more than you'd like? Here are some signs that you might be a too-delicate flower:
- You have trouble focusing on something and are easily blown off course.
- Others can derail you with just a word or a sign of disapproval.
- You're defensive because you feel so fragile.
- You blow things out of proportion.
Feeling a twinge of familiarity? Wait, there's more … Do you engage in these activities?
- You live in your mind, which is a jumble of thoughts and worries.
- You're always ruminating. In fact, you're very quick to find a disempowering meaning behind anything that happens.
- You doubt yourself all the time.
- You require external validation for every little thing.
Enough! It's time to become a resilient person!
You can still be a beautiful, delicate flower, but with the grounded strength of an oak tree behind it. The good news is that once you start becoming aware of how you're acting or feeling, and taking action to improve your situation, you'll begin building your inner strength and equanimity every day. What's even better is that when you're resilient, you'll have the confidence to let your defensiveness drop, giving you mental space to truly relax and enjoy life.
1. Become aware.
The next time you freak out, ask yourself these difficult questions:
- Am I being blown off course right now?
- Am I letting this tiny thing become a huge drama for no reason?
It's not always easy to accept the answers. But once you notice your patterns, you can start to change them.
2. Take 10 minutes to "reset" your pattern.
Watch some TV, go for a walk, talk to a friend, read, meditate or do some exercise. Just spend 10 minutes (or more if you can) resetting and gaining perspective. Remember, when your emotions are high, your intelligence and rational thinking are low.
3. Analyze what meaning you have given the situation.
You've undoubtedly created a disempowering meaning to something which may or may not be happening. And that fantasy meaning you've invented is leading to your moment of weakness.
It's critical to recognize what meaning you have invented. But what's even more important is that you don't try to justify the meaning. Your mind will always find a convincing way to make you "right." Just recognize that you have invented a meaning.
4. Explore what other meanings could be applied to your situation.
Treat it like a game and try to find a different meaning to whatever's frustrating you. Gradually work toward more and more positive possible interpretations. Here's an example: say that you're taking a walk by the beach, and bird droppings land on your clean shirt. You might tell yourself that you're an unlucky person. Well, in some countries, when a bird goes to the toilet on your clothes, it's supposed to be good luck, and many people are OK when it happens. (See, you can always find a more positive meaning!)
5. Ask yourself what contributed to this outcome.
List the factors (people, decisions, etc.) that contributed to what happened.
6. Consider which critical contributing factors could be adjusted next time.
Here you begin to accept your own personal power over what is happening. Perhaps previously you thought this situation was an act of God, or just one of those things that happens. But now you can start to see you can actually influence it. And you have to ask yourself: are you willing to influence it?
7. Prepare to take one action to improve the situation.
It can be something silly, or something long term and impactful. But decide on one action to take. For example, it could be a situation involved the way you were treated. Perhaps you expected to receive thanks. Instead, take action to give to the world the gratitude you wanted to receive. Think about how you can now give.
8. Just in case you got this far and get cold feet, make sure you follow through!
And prepare to feel fantastic and be a more resilient person on the other side.
Do you have any questions about becoming more resilient? Ask me, I'd love to help.
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