Brain resilience is your brain’s ability to bounce back from a crisis, hardship, or just plain day by day stress. Even what may seem like minor thoughts of social rejection and loneliness zoom along the same neural pathways as fear and break down our energy.
There are many ways to increase your bounce back rate of return and keep your brain healthy and strong. Just like a rubber band, our brain can stretch and fire in responses to stress and then pop back to calmness with quick elasticity with a little mental work out. When you learn how to keep your brain in check, well-being can be your constant companion and you can begin to make your brain your slave.
In neuroscience language we need a way to contact our prefrontal cortex, our thinking brain, and have it tell the emotional amygdala to quiet down. No Worry, I will take care of this! Your thinking brain will be the master of your the feeling brain—if we keep it in good shape and work out regularly.
Here is a mental fitness workout critical to resilience so you can learn to exercise your brain and return it to its natural baseline of calmness and positivity.
- Face the things that scare you. Learn to move into your emotions instead of avoiding them. Go ahead and jump into that briar patch! If I am upset about a disparaging remark someone made at work, I cannot focus on getting my work done. I need to take a moment and walk into my anger. Talk to someone about your irritation, or if no one is available, write down just what happened and express your real feelings. In just a few moments of going into the anger you will be out into the light of high energy where you can do the work you need to do. Facing the things that upset you relaxes the fear circuitry in your brain.
- Do a physical body workout. Scientists now tell us that working out the body’s muscles makes people’s minds more resilient as well. Physical exercise spurs the development of new neurons which are quite literally damaged by stress. Find an exercise regime you can stick to for building up a good neuronal bounce back ability.
- Create a strong network of social support. Scientists have discovered that very few highly resilient people are strong in and by themselves. Research shows that when people are exposed to a stressor in a laboratory situation, their heart rate and blood pressure don’t go up quite as much when a friend is in the room with them. Hum….now we loop back to the first suggestion—talk to a friend when stressed.
- Develop a set of positive beliefs. Wouldn’t it be great if what happened on the outside world did not affect our mental stability? Getting rid of limiting beliefs and installing a new set of positive beliefs would give you that option. One quick way: Take one day and focus on what you constantly repeat to yourself that could be negative. A conversation with your conditioning might sound like: All is well in my world right now. I have everything I need within me to be ok. I have so many positive memories of my successes so all I have to do is go back and remember how I did it then! Success is mine.
When we learn to manage our brain with our minds, we extend out longevity, build better relationships, and, yes, react better to the stressors of everyday life.
Train your brain to be resilient to adversity. This way, even when negative things happen, as they will, you can rebound quickly and enjoy more of your life, minute by glorious minute.