It amazes me how many people are available to help us when we most need it. Across the world, there is a vast array of specialists who dedicate their lives to helping others.
I’ve just completed an intense, 8-day international course on mindfulness attended by specialists including doctors, psychologists and epidemiologists from across Europe. The course highlighted to me the sheer number of people who can help us, and moreover, help us help ourselves; to develop our own emotional resilience.
Developing this skill can be likened to improving our physical health; one trip to the gym isn’t the answer. Instead, resilience is gradually generated over time through consistent practice.
So, how can we face this challenging time positively? What can we do for ourselves to start our journey, and become more buoyant, adaptable and self-aware?
Firstly, you can focus on the present and not worry about the past or the future. You only have this moment, so look at what you can do, not at the things you can’t. Remember, start small and build from there; don’t overwhelm yourself. Get through today. And if that’s too much to ask, focus on the next hour.
Learn to protect yourself from the negative stream of news we’re all bombarded with. Yes, it’s important to stay informed, but not to the extent that it induces anxiety, fear and worry. And equally, try to protect yourself from, well, yourself! If you’re your own worst enemy, challenge those thoughts and assumptions about yourself and the world around you. Are they facts or just opinions?
Practising gratitude is a great way of fostering those positive vibes1,2. Research on gratitude is spearheaded by Prof. Robert Emmons3, which has even been found to be beneficial for our physical health4. Think of all the good things in your life and write them down, or keep a journal and make gratitude a regular practice.
Think of others. In “A Monk’s Guide to Happiness”, Gelong Thubden5 states this Buddhist proverb: “All suffering, without exception, is born from a mind which seeks happiness for oneself, whereas perfect, enduring happiness arises through a mind which seeks to benefit others”. Helping, supporting and thinking of others increases your own sense of wellbeing. Simple.
And if you’ve already started out on a positive project but have since fallen off the wagon, don’t worry or beat yourself up. We’re all human. Just accept where you are and get back on the wagon when you’re ready.
By focussing on what you’re doing now you have the opportunity to change what will be yours in the future, and whatever you choose, one act done consistently will lead to change, however small. It can be done at home and you don’t need any resources other than your own mind.
There will be a few more ups and downs before we’re out of the woods, but right now we have the chance to make the most of this truly testing time. And we’ll all look back and say, “yes it was tough, but I’m stronger for it”, a great help when new challenges come our way.
Every week on a Monday evening, I run online mindfulness sessions free of charge. They present a wonderful opportunity to take time out for yourself. If you’d like join a session just drop me a message or give me a call on the details below.
For more information and details on further techniques including hypnotherapy, visit https://www.francesdunning.com or contact me, Fran Dunning on 07973 819867. I can support you to change your thinking and be that friend to talk to.