Resilience is the ability to bounce back from upsets, disappointments and the hard news of life. Stress erodes "bouncebackability," but it doesn't have to be that way when you learn to address and undress your stress.
When there's no more bounce
"I've got one nerve left, and you're on it!"
"I just want to run away."
"I can't take it, anymore!"
When you dig beneath the hard scrabble of dried up and worn out comments such as those above, you may discover that you are suffering from overwhelm. The constant wear and tear of stress has collapsed your resiliency.
Disappointments, frustrations, hurts, lack of support, feelings of inadequacy, health concerns, work issues, traffic, weather, life - there's a long list of things that can puncture your spirit, deflate your energy and put you into flight, fight or freeze mode.
How you think and feel has a striking significance upon your ability to rebound from the ups and downs of life. It also affects your performance, whether it be at work, home or play.
Even when you don't think you're stressed, your body may be struggling to recover from earlier episodes of stress. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can stay in your body for up to thirteen hours and without a recovery strategy, can accumulate in your system. Cortisol, in appropriate amounts, helps you recruit resources to meet threats.
However, today's threat is not the same one as those from prehistoric times. How often is your nervous system being activated during the day? Rushing to get reluctant kids out the door for school. Battling traffic on the way to work, only to have to look forward to it on the way home. Unsatisfactory work environment. Aging parents. Lack of time. Too much cortisol is not good for you.
The rhythm of resilience
In the 50's and 60's, girls (usually) would chant/sing as they bounced large, red rubber balls against the wall. The song helped to establish the rhythm, which allowed for more staying power in the game.
Did you know you can have more staying power by improving the rhythm of your heart?
If you were to measure your heart rate variability (HRV), you get a rhythm - a pattern that is a reflection of what is going on with your autonomic nervous system. When the two branches of your autonomic nervous system (ANS) - sympathetic and parasympathetic are out of balance, you experience stress. You may not always think so, partly because stress is your normal way of being. Or, because when you feel relaxed, your nervous system may have slowed down, but the emotional state/charge may still be present. You want balance - this equals cellular growth and healing. Oh, yeah, and resilience. To put it another way, it's the equivalent of adding more padding to a cushion, so that when/if you fall, you'll have something upon which to land.
That was exactly the case for me. I had been practicing the stress techniques for about a month and noticed I felt better. However, it wasn't until I purchased the emWave® that I saw how my ANS was terribly out of balance. Talk about a wake-up call. That motivated me to take charge and treat the cause of my stress. The internal changes I felt led to many external ones.
Yes, you can put the bounce back into your life!
If you have no more bounce, it's time to change things. It's easier than you think, but like anything worthwhile in life, it takes practice. Easy and consistent practice.
Your body is an incredible machine with many systems that are interdependent. Even if they're not functioning optimally, you are able to get you through your day. Like a number of machines, it can take a fair bit of use and abuse before it breaks down. Eventually, though, the machine (you) need care and attention.
It is not enough to know that you are stressed. Nor is it helpful. It only keeps you swirling in those stress hormones. Learn how the stress response is activated. Reset your nervous system by balancing the two branches of your ANS. With lots of practice, you can feel when you've shifted out of balance, then quickly regain that balance. (I would be honoured to help you with that.)
It's a willful letting go. It's attention and it's intention. It's a lifetime practice.
It's allowed me to live well. At best, I've seen some gains in my health, and at worst, I've maintained other aspects of my health, even with a chronic illness, such as rheumatoid arthritis. There's still bounce in this body!
How about yours?
Some people have good emotional management skills. They are able to recognize and understand the links between their observations, thoughts, feelings and behaviours. They know that a shift is perspective can have a seismic impact upon how they think, feel and do.
They are conscious of the fact that there are often more than one face to a feeling. For example, beneath anger, there could be hurt, or when the dust of sadness is brushed away, there may be sooty memories of disappointment.
These people may have come by this naturally, or have chosen to work at it. It is a skill and like any other skill can be developed. That's great news for you!
Get "bouncebackability" - for the health of it!
If you're sick and tired of that hard landing, it's time to reclaim your life. Your health and well-being may depend upon it and your family depends upon you. But there's more than the dependence stuff - there's creativity, enjoyment, friendship, frivolity, fun. All those things that get trampled by the unbearable weight of stress.
Here are a couple of options for you to get the wiggle back into your walk and more bounce to make it around the block.
1. Sign up for One-on-One coaching telephone or Skype coaching. A five week program teaches you how to address and undress your stress.
"I had developed panic attacks when I was going through an extremely depressing time in my life. Marianna explained to me how stress can even impact the things we love to do. As a swimmer, she led me to understand how my panic attacks were affecting my swimming. She taught me strategies to overcome those feelings so that I could continue doing what I love.
It boiled down to understanding and accepting loss, and using the resources that Marianna taught me to get over this situation.
Marianna is extremely knowledgeable and understands how to help anyone overcome life situations that cross our paths.
My feelings about Marianna is that she truly cares about helping people, so for this Marianna, thank you!" - Phil P., Victoria, BC
2. Group coaching. Contact me to find out how you can get your all-inclusive coaching program for free.
3. Purchase the technology so you can practice and improve your heart rate variability. Various options exist.
4. Subscribe to my mostly monthly newsletter and find out about special offers for subscribers.
HeartMath is a registered trademark of the Institute of HeartMath.
emWave and Personal Stress Reliever are registered trademarks of Quantum Intech, Inc.