01 Sep A neuroscientist shares the 6 exercises she does every day to build resilience and mental strength
via CNBC by Wendy Suzuki
When I first began researching anxiety in my lab as a neuroscientist, I never thought of myself as an anxious person. That is, until I started noticing the words used by my subjects, colleagues, friends and even myself to describe how we were feeling — “worried,” “on edge,” stressed out,” “distracted,” “nervous,” “ready to give up.”
But what I’ve found over the years is that the most powerful way to combat anxiety is to consistently work on building your resilience and mental strength. Along the way, you’ll learn to appreciate or even welcome certain kinds of mistakes for all the new information they bring you.
Here are six daily exercises I use to build my resilience and mental strength:
1. Visualize positive outcomes
At the beginning or at the end of each day, think through all those uncertain situations currently in your life — both big and small. Will I get a good performance review? Will my kid settle well in his new school? Will I hear back after my job interview?
Now take each of those and visualize the most optimistic and amazing outcome to the situation. Not just the “okay” outcome, but the best possible one you could imagine.
This isn’t to set you up for an even bigger disappointment if you don’t end up getting the job offer. Instead, it should build the muscle of expecting the positive outcome and might even open up ideas for what more you might do to create that outcome of your dreams.
2. Turn anxiety into progress
Our brain’s plasticity is what enables us to be resilient during challenging times — to learn how to calm down, reassess situations, reframe our thoughts and make smarter decisions.
And it’s easier to take advantage of this when we remind ourselves that anxiety doesn’t always have to be bad. Consider the below:
- Anger could block your attention and ability to perform, OR it could fuel and motivate you; sharpen your attention; and serve as a reminder of what’s important.
- Fear could trigger memories of past failures; rob your attention and focus; and undermine your performance, OR it could make you more careful about your decisions; deepen your reflection; and create opportunities for changing direction.
- Sadness could flatten out your mood and demotivate you, OR it could help you reprioritize and motivate you to change your environment, circumstances and behavior.
- Worry could make you procrastinate and get in the way of accomplishing goals, OR it could help you fine-tune your plans; adjust your expectations; and become more realistic and goal-oriented.
- Frustration could stymie your progress and steal your motivation, OR it could innervate and challenge you to do more or better.
These comparisons may seem simplistic, but they point to powerful choices that produce tangible outcomes…
… keep reading the full & original article HERE