As I mentioned in my previous blog, I recently attended a webinar led by Anne Burton where she talked about emotional resilience, and I wanted to share some of my reflections since that webinar with you.
I am by nature a reflector – I like to think things through, reflect on my thoughts and take time to come to conclusions. Over the last few days I have been thinking about Anne’s words and her tips regarding emotional resilience.
One of the things that really struct a cord is that toughness is not what you need in emotional resilience – in particular Anne spoke of forced positivity not being helpful and, in fact, adding to the stress of the situation. I tend to be quite a positive person (which has been challenged a bit recently) but it’s made me think about how I currently react to challenges and what might be a “better” response.
Being honest about how you feel is a big part of emotional resilience and, if I’m honest, something I’m not good at. Being honest with myself, and others, about how I feel is tough but something to work on if I want to be emotionally resilient. I’ve started to keep a journal (which suits my reflective mindset) to help order my thoughts and address the need for honesty. Acknowledging that it’s ok not to be ok has been refreshing!
In addition to this, patience is important in resilience. In my previous blog, I talked about conscious thought being only 5% of the brain’s function and taking longer than the unconscious brain which looks for patterns and habits to help it function. Patience in resilience is one of the things Anne talked about as being important – creating new behaviours and thoughts takes time and getting frustrated because things aren’t happening as quickly as normal is not a helpful emotion.
So, what have I learnt from Anne’s webinar? In a nutshell, being honest about how I am feeling and not getting frustrated with myself because I am not adapting as quickly as I think I should are key. But the other thing is that it’s ok to feel the way I do. Anne talked about feeling stuck – “my get up and go has got up and gone” and that, when we lose our usual routine, it can be easy to feel stuck. Introducing action and routine back into my day is a big part of this, and I have started to introduce more structure into my days to help with the feeling of stuck-ness.
Since the webinar, I have shared what I learnt with lots of other people and one of the big things I have been reflecting on is that I’m not on my own. Lots of people are feeling stuck and a little overwhelmed. Social media is full of people baking banana breads, decluttering their houses and working out for several hours a day – but we all have our own ways of coping with the situation.
Resilience is all about taking action, but I decide the action I need to take, not someone else.