This week I had the exhilarating experience of being in the rain and getting soaked on my morning walk.  While I was walking and enjoying the feeling of playing outside in the rain, my grandmother’s words rang in my ears, “you’re going to get sick if you play in the rain.”  But I realised her belief about that link of cause and effect, made it true for her.

“We can get through a lot more than we may have thought possible”

Just like we need to build up our physical resistance and our immune system by being exposed to germs and viruses1, so we need to stretch or challenge ourselves with new life experiences and build our resilience over time.  As we build our confidence, and begin to understand that we can get through a lot more than we may have thought possible, we also learn to deal with our feelings in response to these experiences.  We may also become aware that when we are feeling a certain way, and our energy levels are at a particular level, we can actually enjoy the challenges and overcome our fears too.  We can also challenge and change our beliefs by getting through experiences and regulating our emotions during these life events.

3rd Strategy to Build Resilience

The third strategy to become more resilient is to build and sustain it through practice (the 1st we looked at was Shift and Reset and the 2nd was Prep). HeartMath® defines resilience as “the capacity to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of stress, challenge of adversity” 2. These 3 strategies cover the aspects of this definition.

This 3rd strategy helps us “to plug energy leaks and recharge on the go,” so we use the HeartMath® techniques “in the moment to … maintain our composure” 3 and if we practice the techniques on a daily basis, we also increase our resilience in general.  We can use the Heart-Focused BreathingTM and Quick Coherence®  techniques [covered in previous posts].  Another technique is Inner-EaseTM :

  1. “Focus your attention in the area of the heart.  Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual.
  2. With each breath, draw in the feeling of inner ease to balance your mental and emotional energy.
  3. Set a meaningful intent to anchor the feeling of inner ease as you engage in your projects, challenges or daily interactions.” 4

 

Creating Routine

If we choose a daily practice, that easily fits into our routine, and is enjoyable and do-able, we will begin to notice over time, that:

  • We may react less and respond more
  • We are able to get through challenging times and feel less drained by them
  • We sleep better
  • We have more emotional responses available to us in the moment ….

This kind of daily practice has a positive impact on our heart rhythm and our “heart rhythms directly affect our physical and mental performance.” 5  The person in the room with the most flexibility and resilience also has the most influence to direct the flow of events and ultimately, the outcome.6

So the next time you have the opportunity to play in the rain, to dance like no-one’s watching or to practice HeartMath® techniques (to Shift and Reset, to Prep or to Build and Sustain) enjoy the experiences and the challenges.

 

Written by Michele Frew, Certified HeartMath Coach specialising in Education

Learn more about the Power of Resilience, see neuropsychologist Dr Sam Goldstein’s TEDx Talk:

Understand why resilience is important, watch The Importance of Resilience by HeartMath Institute:

References
  1. Zamosky, L. 2014. WebMD: Is dirt good for kids? Available online: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/d2n-stopping-germs-12/kids-and-dirt-germs?page=1 . Accessed February 25, 2017.
  2. Institute of HeartMath. 2014. HeartMath ® Certified Trainer Leader’s Guide. p.5.
  3. Institute of HeartMath, 2014. Building Personal Resilience: A Handbook for HeartMath® Certified Coaches and Mentors. California: Institute of HeartMath. p. 20
  4. Institute of HeartMath, 2014. Building Personal Resilience: A Handbook for HeartMath® Certified Coaches and Mentors. California: Institute of HeartMath. p. 44
  5. Institute of HeartMath. 2014. HeartMath® Certified Trainers Leader’s Guide. p. 34
  6. Adapted from NLP Presupposition: The person with the most flexibility controls the system. See: http://www.mymotivational-nlp.com/nlp-presuppositions/12-the-person-with-the-most-flexibility-controls-the-system
  7. Bucket leaking and plugged image.  Sourced: http://www.alightonmypath.com/category/marketing-101/
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