Making Your Home a Sanctuary for Your Soul
November 10, 2017

Increase Your Resiliency to Change

Embrace change with an open heart and mind. Your resiliency can be enhanced by changing your thoughts and taking action.

Before stress takes a physical toll, it usually takes an emotional one. When we feel
overwhelmed, our fear, anger or depression can trigger the release of stress hormones. This
sets off chemical reactions in your body and brain that are intimately linked to numerous health
issues, including blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, headaches, muscle tension,
irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue, sleep disorders, cognitive problems and more.
Fortunately, we can learn to shield ourselves from the negative impacts of stress by practicing
techniques that enhance our resiliency. Two people can experience the same situation, such as
getting stuck in traffic or having a major conflict at work, and one will react negatively and hold
that emotion, while the other seems to find “strength in the storm” and bounces back quickly.
That is resiliency.

  • Use breathwork to neutralize stressful situation. Breathe in for four seconds and
    breathe out for seven seconds. Your body will instantly begin to relax.
  • Don’t take things personally or try to control everything that happens. Life throws
    everyone unexpected curveballs. Change what you can and remember, we cannot
    change others; they have to change themselves.
  • View change as an opportunity. Charles Darwin said, “It’s not the strongest of the
    species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but it is actually the one that is most
    responsive to change.” Learn to bounce back.
  • Build a tribe. This is your support network of people whom you can turn to when things
    seem to go awry.
  • Practice gratitude. When you can feel grateful for all the good in your life, the not-so-
    good seems less important and more manageable.
  • Spend time in nature. Swim in the ocean or hike in the woods. Find your own level of
    activity, but do it in an outdoors environment, preferably near trees, plants and bodies of
    water.
  • Learn techniques to enhance resiliency. These include yoga, Tai Chi and meditation.
  • Tap deeply into your spiritual tradition. Every spiritual tradition has beliefs and tools
    to enhance resiliency.

Learn more:

Relaxation training for anxiety: a ten-years systematic review with meta-analysis
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2427027/

The great outdoors? Exploring the mental health benefits of natural environments
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4204431/

Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life https://www .ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3193654/

Social Support and Resilience to Stress https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921311/

Psychological Resilience and Positive Emotional Granularity: Examining the Benefits of Positive Emotions on Coping and Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1201429/

Religious Involvement, Gratitude, and Change in Depressive Symptoms Over Time: Exploring the stress-buffering effects of gratitude https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2843928/