Building Resilience/Positive Perception
FIGHT OR FLIGHT
Why? Because you’re shifting from the Fight or Flight or “stress Response” in your Central Nervous System, to Attend and Befriend, or Relaxation Response. This shift can significantly reduce the negative symptoms associated with stress.
Breathing is KEY. This is how you shift from Stress Response to Relaxation: using the 4-7-8 Breath. Inhale to a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, and exhale for a count of 8.
REACT VS. RESPOND
Change is so hard because there are two different parts of the human brain that are competing. The midbrain is the emotional brain that is reactive, impulsive and wants immediate gratification. The forebrain, our more evolved brain is strategic, rational and wise. We want to strengthen the forebrain so we can change habits.
4 Strategies to Build Resilience (and simultaneously strengthen the forebrain):
- Social Support
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-or support that helps you begin to look at how limiting beliefs shape your life.
Mindfulness is one of the most powerful strategies to reduce stress because it invites you to the present moment, so you can acknowledge emotions and sensations that contribute to the stress response. By pausing and asking yourself “What is happening within me right now? Can I be with this?” Shifts from Fight-or-Flight to Attend-and-Befriend. Which scientists realize drastically diminishes the negative effect that particular stressor has on you.
Understanding Your Values-Know what’s important to you and incorporate that into your life to cultivate happiness.
Not sure what your values are? Begin a practice of writing down every day 3 things that Went-Well and Why. This gratitude practice actually strengthens your forebrain and rewires your brain for happiness so it can begin to look for what’s right, and that’s a huge difference compared to what our primitive brain does, which is wired to look for what’s wrong.
Write down 3 things that went well today and why:
- Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
- The Upside of Stress by Kelly McConigal
- Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson