Today is my birthday. I am truly grateful that I am alive, healthy and spiritually conscious.
One thing I have definitely learned from aging is to develop resilience to better deal with the turbulence and crisis that is occurring in my life as well as everyone’s life.
Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from emotional and physical difficulties in our personal life or from global disasters that create crisis, death loss, or grief. Resilience by no means implied you do not experience emotions or the loss in your life. But you do not need to experience prolonged grief and depression. We can learn how to accept the situation as it is. As the spiritual saying goes, “live in the world but not of the world.”
Accept what has happened and live in the now.
This morning I listened to an interview with Dr. Joan Borysenko, on Hardship as a Portal to Conscious Evolution. Joan gave practical steps and guidance that can help us all transcend our trauma and hardship a little easier by learning the skills of resilience.
The part of the brain that activates our emotions-fear and our survival impulse is the amygdale. It is an almond-shape set of neurons located deep in the brain’s medial temporal lobe.
They generate an immediate “fight or flight” response to increase the odds of survival, but they can become hypersensitive, interfering with our ability to experience the present moment in an open and relaxed way.
So we have to learn to quiet this part of the brain by practicing mind-body practices that help us develop resilience. Here are five daily practices that will help your brain to relax so you are not hijacked by your emotions.
- Mindful Awareness-Stop and experience what you are doing-driving, washing dishes, or walking. If you are thinking thoughts of the past or future bring your mind into the now. Focus on your heart, breath and come back into the awareness of what is around you.
- Mindfulness Meditation-New research indicates that you do not need to meditate for long periods of time to have a positive effect. Start sitting and relaxing for 5 minutes and do that two or three times a week. This will change your brain structure.
- Breathing-If you find yourself worried about your career, your relationship, your health start breathing. Take deep breathes in and and then draw your lips together and slowly exhale. 4-6 breaths per minute change your brain.
- Physical Exercise-Research shows that exercise works as well or better than an antidepressant. So walk, run, swim, do tai chi or yoga.
- Gratitude- Start your morning by saying what you are grateful for. If you think you have nothing to be grateful for be grateful for your breath and that you woke up today. Gratitude for your life will change your life.
I hope this birthday post has been helpful. I have found these practices to be helpful to change and transform as we go through this period of Conscious Evolution. What practices do you do to build resilience?