Wellbeing Chapter, Announcement 31

Jan,18 2021

Healthy ways to move through adversity

In our last announcement, we focused on a journey towards sustainable mental well-being. We took a closer look at a few tips on a continuing journey towards sustainable mental well-being and accepting, not avoiding, difficulties and adversities. 
In this announcement, the Chapter wishes to remind members about resilience. We have had a few earlier announcements, over the years, touching on this. It is however very timely that we revisit and refresh on this critically important topic.
Stress and struggles come in many forms in life adversity and trauma, fear and shame, betrayals of trust.
Give some thought to these 5 activities and adopt some or all into your daily routines:
  • Adopt the ritual of expressive writing. When faced with a negative or bad situation confront it. Put ideas down in writing one by one. Give them structure. Often this may lead to new perspectives. Crafting one’s narrative gives a sense of control. When something negative or bad happens, reliving the event repeatedly is negative - the process of “rumination”. Also, contemplate some upsides, search for and reflect on silver linings. In a nutshell, change the narrative.
  • Proactively face and confront fears that you are experiencing in the here and now. Start with small doses. Expose yourself gradually to the fear-inducing activity in a safe context. Some examples - fear of public speaking, seek out speaking opportunities with a small supportive audience - rock climbing but are afraid of heights, start by spending time observing and assisting other climbers. Adopt the ritual of exposure therapy. In a nutshell, nurture greater courage to confront your fears.
  • Adopt the ritual of offering compassion to yourself. This is important because of the incredibly competitive society we are surrounded by. Stop trying to label yourself as “good” or “bad”. Do not beat yourself - stop judging and evaluating yourself altogether - simply accept yourself with an open heart. Treat yourself with the same kindness, caring, and compassion you would show to a good friend. Focus on being mindful and remember that you are not alone and be kind to yourself. Always pause and ask “Why am I so harsh on myself, and what would happen if I were not? 
  • Leverage on mindfulness techniques such as focusing on the present; dealing with negative emotions when they arise. Practice the ritual of body scanning where you focus on all parts of your body step by step. Body scanning can be performed while lying down, sitting, or in other postures. Practice mindful breathing and the simple focus on inhaling and exhaling. It can be helpful to proactively set aside a designated time for this exercise. It is helpful when one feels particularly stressed or anxious. Regular practice of mindful breathing can make it easier to deal with difficult situations.

Cultivate the practice of forgiveness. This could be beneficial to both mental and physical health. Adopt a ritual of letting go of resentment and ill will. Note forgiveness does not mean letting the offender off the hook or even reconciling with them. Consciously find a positive opportunity for growth in the experience.
Learn more here.

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