How to be resilient during these challenging timesHeidi Hadley
Hi everyone, how are you faring this week? What a week it has been! As the days progress, many have commented that they don’t know what day of the week it is. There is so much our mind and body are having to process at the moment, that it is easy to loose track of time. However in today’s blog we will continue to use our prefrontal cortex which has been designed to enhance our emotional intelligence, focus, awareness, concentration and decision making. It is also activated when we start to ask questions and problem solve, rather than allow ourselves to get caught up in the cycle of fear and stress.
Let’s be proactive
We have noticed how panic and fear have become just as contagious as the virus itself. Granted there will be times when a welling up of fear, anxiety and uncertainty catches us. However, when we start to apply the following proactive measures, which follow on from last week’s blog, CLICK HERE TO READ, we can start to create a healthy focus in our life.
If you are a listener to my podcast series with Dr Sarah Wilson ND, Really Well Women (www.ReallyWellWomen.com), you will know from season 1, episode 2 that Mindset is crucial. I discuss within that episode that what you focus on, grows. So when you allow too much media to mould your thinking, you can become focused on the fear and uncertainty. However, when you direct your focus elsewhere to more proactive and productive measures, you can thrive, even during the most trial some times.
Let’s consider what you can do to stimulate your pre-frontal cortex, which in turn will reduced the size and activity in the area of your brain responsible for your fight/flight stress responses.
Putting things into perspective
We are living in momentous times and with that comes overwhelming reports and images. However, let us consider that this pandemic has affected every nation around the world. The Australian treasurer said “It has no flag and no face” which means we are all in this together. Every nation is impacted and measures are being drawn up to cushion the blow. This will impact us all, however we are all in the same boat. This incident highlights the importance of reaching out to each other, at the moment not physically but using digital devices.
When we start considering others, it takes us out of our own fear cycle and makes us think how we can help others and boost their morale. If we all considered this mindset, imagine how amazing the world could be? This is happening and could you make it your intention to send an encouraging text message, email or what’s app video to someone to boost their morale and notice how contagious positivity can be.
With the hypervigilance around hygiene, it can make people already anxious about their health, more fearful. If a person suffers with anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorders, this is a tough time for them. Could you consider them in your communications? If you have a family member suffering with these issues, could you include them in activities to help shape your family’s new normal with regards routine and hygiene. Creating a daily routine will help them stay focused and reassure them they are part of a proactive group. Always encourage ones to reach out to health practitioners if you or they notice their mental health deteriorating.
Adapting and changing to life
We have amazing minds and bodies and the scientists in recent decades have discovered the amazing ability for them to continue adapting, growing and changing. This is known as bioplasticity and neuroplasticity. As we consider the uncertain times around us, there is one thing you can be certain of, what you feed your mind and body. As I mentioned earlier, the podcast episode in season 1, episode 2 discusses this further. Let us consider for a moment your internal dialogue. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between perceived and actual danger. You can create a fear and stress response by thought alone. So let us consider how you can harness this. By noticing the quality of your thoughts and your internal dialogue (how you talk to yourself), you can create an empowering, positive mindset or a negative, fearful, anxious mindset. We cannot control our external environment but we can control our internal world - what we read, listen to, associate with, drink, eat and how often we move our body.
So let us consider these points so we can create an internal world or environment which can deal with the daily challenges we all face.
What are you reading?
What are you choosing to read? Is it the newspaper? Could you break that habit of reaching for the headlines at the start of your day? As much as you may reason it is important because every day is changing, could you spend 10 minutes reading something positive? Choose a book that you will become fully immersed in. The way you begin your day frames your outlook. Allow your creative, visual juices in your amazing mind to flow as you read a novel, poetry, autobiography or whatever floats your boat!
What are you listening to?
Are you listening to the radio or TV and allowing that to also mould your thinking for the day? We need to keep abreast with the news, but could you also limit your time to a maximum of 10 minutes twice a day? Could you select music to listen to which you absolutely love and boosts you? Music is so powerful. According to Kim Innes, a Professor of epidemiology at West Virginia University’s School of Public Health, music “selectively activates” neurochemical systems and brain structures associated with positive mood, emotion regulation, attention and memory in ways that promote beneficial changes. The choice of music must be whatever suits you. Some music can actually induce stress and fear. Consider the music from jaws, what does that do to you? It’s certainly not relaxing! So what do you enjoy listening to? The rhythm and tempo of songs have an effect on our neural networks and modulates our heart rate. Choosing music with gradual progression, calming with no crescendo can create relaxing effects to your mind and body, allowing alpha brain waves to be induced. This brain wave creates a mindful, restful head space.
I know people that find listening to heavy metal more relaxing than classical music. As one person once said to me, “classical music really winds me up. Give me AC/DC anytime!” So music is subjective and with the time we all have available now, could you start looking at ways to use music to calm and inspire you, rather than become dragged down by dis-empowering and negative media reports?
If you have been listening to the Really Well Women podcast at www.ReallyWellWomen.com, you will recall from season 1, episode 11 the importance of connection and how important it is to our emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health. The company we keep and the manner in which we talk is really important for our somatic health. During these challenging times, we need to be more diligent with connecting with others. Interestingly, I have noticed that this virus has caused many to reconnect and also for others to think about how they can help support those less fortunate. The amazing thing about humankind is that the vast majority care for their fellow man, but sometimes life causes us to get caught up in a figurative hamster’s wheel, neglecting people, passion and purpose.
So could you use this current situation to reach out to others? Create methods to stay in touch with apps. When we consider others, it creates such a buzz in us to know we are making a difference to their health and wellbeing. We are social creatures, so connection is crucial for our emotional, physical, spiritual and mental health.
What are you consuming?
It is only natural to want to reach for your comfort food or drink when times get tough. However could you use your pre-frontal cortex and ask yourself the following questions (which is turn will break the default, habit stress default pattern you have developed):
*Does my food or drink help to boost my immune system?
*Are the choices I make in my food and drink impacting my levels of inflammation within my body?
*Is my choice of food and drink having an impact on my mood and sleep? *Is it helping to calm my nervous system down for sleep or is it creating an illusion, such as alcohol before bed?
*Are the choices of my food and drink helping promote good gut health, which in turns helps boost my immunity, mental health, sleep, hormones and lowers inflammation?
The whole purpose of creating Total Somatics online and Really Well Women Podcast is to educate and empower you so you can take back control of your health and wellbeing. Within the Total Somatics Online Program, Dr Sarah Wilson ND and I discuss the importance of gut health and other subjects within the podcast series. Also within the Total Somatics tutorials I teach you how to create a Total Somatic lifestyle with somatic movement being just one component, there is much more to it.
Within the Really Well Women podcast, you can discover in season 1 the foundations of health with each episode providing knowledge and focus. The more information and skills provided to you from Total Somatics and Really Well Women, the more you can make informed decisions about your health and wellbeing. Sarah and I bring our clinical skills and knowledge to you, so you can benefit fully.
Move your body!
With the change in your daily life, movement can reduce significantly. However, you can become creative with daily cardio exercise and create a mini circuit in your lounge or back garden. You don’t need equipment, just a creative mind!
The fantastic advantage to Total Somatics Online is that the cardio exercise you do will require muscles to be softened, loosened and released. If you have listened to season 1, episode 6 of Really Well Women, you will know how the 3 step process used in Somatics, known as PANDICULATION, has greater benefits to your muscles than stretching. So practising somatic movement after your cardio workout can reduce muscle tension and pain. Check out episode 6 to find out why. Total Somatics Online has created an avenue for people to reach out to and practice somatic movement in the comfort of their own home, at a time that suits them. However stayed tuned because very soon Total Somatics Online will be adding new components to its existing program to bring a closer connection between me and you. I can’t wait to share this with you and the extra special information that will help support you during these challenging times. Please be assured, I will be supporting you all as we get through this period of time. We will become stronger, resilient and with a different mindset towards where our priorities lie.
To learn more, check out Total Somatics online and subscribe to my weekly blogs because I will be keeping you up to date with the exciting changes. Check out my FREE EBOOK, FREE CHALLENGE, BLOG PAGE AND PODCAST.
Take care, keep well and safe.
All my love,