The pandemic creates a lot of stress for everyone, and unless you build a resilient mind and find your inner peace, it will leave you depressed, oscillating between boredom and anxiety
When is it going to be normal again? What does the future hold for you?
Sometimes, it makes you wonder about your life choices. Are you fulfilling your destiny?
You are lacking a sense of purpose, of fulfillment.
All these feelings are natural in times of uncertainty.
Even if you are not experiencing real hardship like losing your job or becoming sick, the current situation is one that generates anxiety and fear and makes anyone a little crazy.
Everyone is in the same boat, but resilient people navigate these troubled waters better than others.
A resilient mind is a learned skill
Psychological resilience is the ability to cope with stress and crisis and return to pre-crisis status quickly.
Resilient people have this ability to bounce back and to move forward. They can protect themselves from the mental stressors that surround us.
Nobody is born with a resilient mind.
It is something life teaches you, and you too can learn.
Here are five ways to feel better and build your inner resilience
1-Put the inner monkey to rest
Our mind tends to wander constantly, either to the past or towards the future. The Buddhists call this the “Monkey Mind”, the restless and erratic train of thought that we all experience.
In times of stress, this internal rumination can spiral out of control into self-questioning and make you take some rash decisions you will regret later.
To break this cycle, you must stop at the source: stop thinking.
Just that: …stop …thinking.
And it is easier than you believe.
It is called mindfulness, meditation, or sophrology. All these techniques help you calm down and regain your inner peace. They are the cornerstone of a resilient mind.
They help you by breathing and slowing your thought clock.
With some practice, you’ll become more aware of the present moment and be more attentive to your surroundings.
You will get a better grasp of what today is offering, and you will find something to be grateful for every day.
2- Hit refresh
Boredom and anxiety are two faces of the same coin. They fuel our internal rumination, and in the end, make us unhappy.
A famous experiment showed that having to choose between boredom and electric shocks, most people chose pain because boredom is so destructive.
“When people are spending time inside their heads, they’re markedly less happy”, concludes Matthew Killingsworth a psychologist at UCSF.
“When people are spending time inside their heads, they’re markedly less happy”
The best way to fight boredom is to bring novelty in your life. Be open to new things: try different foods, go to other places. Make new friends.
Be ready to get out of your comfort zone and take a new path.
Learning new things is very beneficial as it combines novelty with a goal and an achievement. It could be learning a new language, acquiring new cooking skills.
Newness might induce anxiety initially, but fighting boredom is priceless, and the achievement is rewarding and helps you grow at the end of the day.
3- Do as Romans do
“Mens sana in corpore sano” said the Roman poet Juvenal.
It means “a healthy mind in a healthy body”.
You need to take care of both body and mind to thrive.
Stay active by moving your body, exercise, go for a walk, do weight lifting. Physical activity has a proven positive effect on your mental health, and help you regain peace and serenity. A fitness tracker can help you keep your physical activity in check, provided that you set realistic goals.
The same way you exercise your body, you should also exercise your mind. Neurological stimulation has a demonstrated effect on mental well-being.
If you work, your job is the perfect opportunity to activate your brain. Find new challenges to address, take on projects, learn new skills on the job.
Otherwise, just by being curious about the world, staying informed, reading, watching, learning, and playing, you keep your brain active and healthy, and this help you build a resilient mind.
4-Follow the airline directives
Remember what they say in the airlines: “Secure your own mask before helping others”.
As much as you want to help and care for others, you also need to listen to your inner voice and avoid getting drained.
You have to care for yourself and maintain your personal integrity, or you won’t be able to help anyone. You need to be safe to be looking after others.
That is why you must set and enforce boundaries.
If you are the empathic type, this may not be natural for you, but sometimes you will say “No” for your own well-being and recognize your limits because there is only so much you can do, and this is ok!
5- Know and honor He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named
There is one person in your life who you never name, don’t know, and about whom you never worry. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, it’s you.
Know and honor yourself.
Recognizing who we are deep inside is not a given. It takes effort to provide oneself some tender loving care and pay attention to one’s intuition against peer pressure.
But your inner voice talks to you, so listen to it and, more importantly, trust it, and be at peace with yourself.
Build a resilient mind and find your inner peace
The pandemic generates lots of stress and anxiety.
Some days, you feel bored and sad. Some other you are depressed.
You start ruminating and questioning yourself, your life, your choice, your future.
These feelings are normal in uncertain times, but they can wreak havoc and threaten your mental balance.
With a resilient mind you can keep afloat in troubled waters, and the five tips we have just shown are ways to build it.
Start today and try one, the one that is easiest for you. Soon you will feel better and regain some control. By using these methods, and more, you will become more resilient and get the stability and calm that you need. You will feel alive.
And you will be happier!