If the definition of resiliency is to bounce back after being knocked down, and if this is essential to our emotional, mental, and physical well-being – why aren’t we better at taking charge of our lives? Why do we get bounced around in the whirlwind of life?
Rationally, for the most part, we know what’s going on with ourselves. The thing is, we suck at translating all that stuff we’re feeling into ways to better cope.
It certainly doesn’t help that we’re angry. Dr. Joy Miller, an internationally known licensed psychotherapist, professional trainer and author recently commented in an interview on our, Kevin Tibbles and my podcast Believe In People, although not verbatim, you’ll get the gist that one way we’ve decided to cope with grief, depression, uncertainty, anxiety, and fear is through anger. I find this thinking incredibly comforting in some strange way as it helps me wrap my head around the escalating anger I’ve been seeing and feeling.
This isn’t unusual, it’s just discouraging.
So, how do we turn things around?
One suggestion is to find ways to be more compassionate and understanding of ourselves. If we are to make any difference in the way we move in this world, then it must start with us first. Giving ourselves permission to release some of the anxiety, stress, and emotional burnout we’ve been feeling in ways that are constructive rather than destructive.
Our overthinking and bottled-up emotions must go somewhere. If not expressed, then we’re just waiting to explode.
Left to its own device, the act of an emotional explosion has a negative effect on how we interact with others. If we don’t express ourselves, then the only casualty is us. You and me. And we know that’s not good.
Despite all that’s going on in our brains. All the noise and negative commentary on any given day, our emotional sh*t show needs to be quieted, or at the very least have us saying; “Nah nah nah nah nah, I’m not listening,” as we cover our ears with our hands. There’s something to be said for child-like behaviour.
Let’s take ourselves out of the circumstances that we’re in and imagine ourselves zooming as far out of the galaxy as we can dream and look out and down. Thinking, wow, we’re infinitesimal. Now as we hover, we focus on what we can control, and that’s us. Just us. How we choose to react and respond.
We know that anything other than being in the present has our attention. Sure, worrying, anxiety, stress, fear is there to protect us and yet right now, in this very moment as we take our next breath, we ask ourselves; “Am I ok right this second?” If the answer is yes, do nothing, sit still. If the answer is no, then face it. What are you going to do about it? That’s it. No sense in worrying or grabbing any other emotion that doesn’t serve you. Figure out what you’re going to do.
These moments in our lives that test our ability to cope are really opportunities just waiting to be recognized for what they are – a chance to test our resiliency and have us hone in on our ability to be more compassionate and understanding of ourselves and others.
I love this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Every minute you spend ANGRY, you lose sixty seconds of HAPPINESS.”
As a reminder: When things start to boil over in your mind, visually zoom yourself as far out of the galaxy as you can and imagine dissolving the anger that you’re feeling by pouring compassion and understanding over it. Then see how you feel. Give yourself time to see, if you let yourself, that your resilient self is there to help you bounce back.