Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, to bounce back when life throws you for a loop. I wasn’t taught to be resilient. I grew up learning that my negative emotions were bad and that it was best to cover up those feelings. This was my conditioning, it was my naive interpretation of how the world wanted me to be, and it’s kept me playing small for a very long time.
For most of my adult life I was afraid to feel my true emotions and afraid to share my feelings with others (unless they were positive). So when it came to dealing with challenging situations, work stress or relationship troubles, I would crumble. I’d either just go along with what others wanted and often feel resentful or I would ignore the situation hoping it would go away until my emotions would explode and I’d find myself in a deep depression. This way of being didn’t allow for much “bouncing back”.
This is where Breathwork comes in. With this practice I’ve been able to process through a lot of repressed emotions. The problem with repressed emotions isn’t only the emotional and mental baggage we carry, science is now making the connection between repressed emotions and disease in the physical body.
I’ve come to realize that in order to deal with challenges in my life I have to be present in my physical body. To pay attention to what’s actually physically happening in my body from moment to moment. And to feel through the emotions, not stuff them. The amazing thing that has happened from reconnecting with my body and feeling my emotions is that I’m not nearly as reactionary as I was. My subconscious reactions have minimized and I’m now more aware of what’s happening in each situation so I can consciously respond in a more empowering way.
There are many techniques to building your resilience. I’ve found that practices that open up the communication between your mind and body to be the easiest way to embed resilience into your being so you don’t have to remember to do anything – simply be.
Breathwork is a presence practice that brings you into the present moment. It brings awareness to your physical sensations, thoughts and beliefs. It strengthens your mind/body connection so that you are operating more consciously. This practice allows you to release old patterns and triggers so that you are much more empowered to respond to daily challenges.
I recommend these tips to build resilience:
- Learn Breathwork with a trained facilitator until you are comfortable doing the practice on your own.
- Stay in your body – Stop and take a deep breath. This can sound cliché but it really is the best tool you have to deal with life’s stressors. And feel all of your emotions. Don’t avoid.
- Practice any type of meditation that has you focusing your attention on your body sensations.
- Pay attention to any stories your mind wants to make up. The Work by Byron Katie is a great way to check yourself. Ask these questions:
- Is it true?
- Can I know that it’s 100% true?
- How do I feel when I think that thought?
- Who would I be without that thought?
- Turn everything into an opportunity for growth. Every challenge can be a blessing in disguise.
Resilience is a muscle we must build. Releasing old wounds and out-dated beliefs and practicing present moment awareness with Breathwork is a great place to start.
If you’re interested in learning more, schedule a quick call where we will discuss your specific struggles and how Breathwork can support you on your journey.