Apparently, since the 2nd world war depression and anxiety have been on the increase. That statistic was told to me during my training to become a psychotherapist with the Human Givens Institute. We have so many resources available to us now yet more people are struggling with these mental health issues. The world is moving at such a fast pace that many of us our finding it hard to just keep up with the demands of life. The many ways in which we connect these days via social media or a screen, can, if not managed lead to a feeling of disconnection form a human perspective. The fact remains that unless we understand how to meet our emotional needs in heathy and sustainable ways we will encounter emotional distress. If you don’t know what your emotional needs are then check out my other posts. Having a self-care plan and rituals with which you can build emotional resilience is key to having something in your emotional bank account when you encounter one of life’s curve balls.

Try these 7 Tips for emotional resilience:

1) When you feel stress coming on use the anagram H.A.L.T. & ask yourself if you are hungry, angry/anxious , lonely or tired? A simple adjustment can be all we need to get ourselves back on track.

2) Our imagination is one of our greatest resources but can often be misused when stressed as the brain will shut down access to the rational thinking part and lead us in to black and white – all or nothing thinking. Try clenching your hands together for 10 seconds as tightly as you can then relax them and notice the soothing sensations moving up your arms. Use your imagination to see any tension melting away. Calming down & relaxing helps gain perspective on what is stressing you and helps come up with solutions to challenges.

3) Stories have been used for decades to heal and learn from. A story helps by pass the conscious mind and as we see ourselves in the characters it can help us come up with solutions to our own dilemmas. Read an inspiring story each day to feed your mind with ideas and helpful metaphors that you can use in your own life.

4) Surround yourself with people who accept and support you. Connection and intimacy are emotional needs and being able to turn to people who help you grow and thrive is key to fulfilling that need. Not everybody is deserving of being around you so choose and nurture your friendships wisely.

5) Move your body. Motion creates emotion. We are a mind & body system and the chemicals we produce while taking exercise of some kind is key to creating a chemical cocktail that will serve us. Exercising outdoors and with people helps to also utilise with benefits of being among nature and people. Our brains work best when stimulated by others and given constructive tasks to compete.

6) Allocate enough time for rest. Stress can play havoc with sleep so making sure you have a healthy sleep ritual in place will help ensure proper sleep. Put a reminder on your phone that your ‘wind down time’ has started and be disciplined enough to stick to it.

7) When we are working and absorbing information our brain needs to shift from left to right hemisphere every 2 hours to daydream and file away what we have learnt. When we consistently push past this natural need for a break it can lead to a feeling of stress overload. Take a break every 2 hours for 15 minutes and allow yourself to daydream and relax. It will lead to more productivity in the long run.