Building Resilience For Optimal Mental Health

How would you describes your average day?

Busy but fun?

Productive and joyful?

Or stressful and feeling like you are never achieving much?

Are you reacting to ever mad driver cutting you off or running into difficult situations at every turn?

The difference between being resilient and no is about adaptation to constant challenges and being able to let the stress roll off. You may ask, how do I cope better in my stressful situations and how do I build my resilience? Well it ties very closely with your health and optimal wellness.

Stress is a helpful tool to get you running from danger and into safety. Constant and prolonged stress though is not healthy and, when unmanaged, can be extremely harmful to your health. Adrenaline pumping constantly through your system day in and day out is signaling danger is present and negatively impacts healing processes such as restful sleep.

Blood pressure, respiration rate, decreased digestive function and reduce immune function are all shifted from optimal function in times of stress. A “stress response” should ideally be shift and short once the danger is removed, however a recalibration occurs with constant stress into a sympathetic dominant system flooded with “alarm” hormones and processes. The result is often overwhelm for stressed people and the spiral can lead downwards.

 

To build resilience it takes multiple positive shifts from multiple angles to recalibrate and permanently shift the sympathetic dominant nervous system to a place of calm. There is no better time to start than NOW!

Top 7 Things To Build Resilience in Times of Stress

  • Help your Microbiome flora – disturbance in digestive health has clearly been shown to disrupt mood stability, anxiety and low mood and is referred to as the “gut brain axis”. Have you ever had to run to the toilet before a stressful speech or job interview? The stress neurotransmitters such as GABA, serotonin and histamine are altered in times of stress and have a direct influence on our gut brain axis. Eat a diet full of high polyphenol-rich foods such as antioxidant “superfoods”, colourful vegetables and prebiotic foods. If your digestive is prone to being sensitive, then you might want to check your gut health with a microbiome functional test with your practitioner.
  • Practice Mindfulness – What is mindfulness anyhow? Is it meditation or is it thinking more about the problem? Well not exactly but it is slowing down to focus on the now and being present in the moment that is unravelling right NOW. It is easy to think of those 1000’s of things to do tomorrow or even think about how yesterday was not as great as we hoped for, but it is not helpful for our stress hormones to think outside of now. Right now, while you are reading this, you are safe and everything is ok.
  • Give Priority to Move Daily – Yes you are probably moving to take kids to school or your job might be very physical, but exercise outside of essential movement helps calm our stress. Get outdoors with a hike or park walk amongst the trees. Schedule a yoga class several times a week into your calendar and stick to it no matter what! There will always be a lot to do but you must prioritise your number one asset of health and wellness!
  • Create time for the Things You Love – What do you really love to do? The thing that makes your heart sing? Sowing, skateboarding, painting, playing the flute, making model cars, gardening, camping, building sandcastles, dancing? Start a class or blockout your schedule to enjoy that play-time to feed your soul.
  • Consider Herbs – Adaptogen herbs are herbs that have been identified to help the nervous system adapt to stress. Current evidence has explored how and why they work but can only show they are beneficial on multiple biochemical processes to downregulate stress processes and boost energy. Examples are Rhodiola rosea, Withania somnifera or Asparagus racemosa. There are many and each has slightly varied affiliation with different body systems so ask your herbalist for there advice for your situation.
  • Optimise your Sleep Patterns – Do you sleep the whole way through without waking to go to the toilet or toss and turn? Do you sleep less than 7 hours a night? If you are not having an optimal sleep then your batteries are depleted and you are going to start running on stress hormones everyday. We have to get the sleep right and ensure it is deep to allow your body to heal optimally.
  • Consider Nervous System Nutrients – Do you take any supplements to assist your diet intake? In the world today I truly believe that just diet nutrients are not enough because of the combination of pollution, poor content and our high demands when compared with hundreds of years ago. Be sure to seek the highest quality and be sure to take the correct dosages and types with your practitioners advice. Not all natural supplements are safe and that is the job of your nutritionist or naturopath.

 

Help yourself now to build a resilient you that can take on the world! You can live a stress free and energetic life with the right help and guidance. Want to take control of your health and wellness now? Get in touch and we can help.

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