Resilience can be thought of as the ability to bounce back from difficult times and challenges. The origin of the word means “the act of rebounding” and is derived from ‘resiliens’ which means ‘to recoil or rebound’. Some have a seemingly natural capacity to bounce back from adversity, others not so much. Developing resilience will significantly contribute to achieving empowerment at all ages and stages.
Resilience is our ability to bounce back from the stresses of life. It is not about avoiding stress, but rather learning to thrive during stress. Thriving during stress leads to increased resilience and fuels empowerment. Increased resilience will contribute to better energy, hormonal balance, emotional well-being, shaper working memory, improved sleep, enhanced immune system function, better relationships, as well as more graceful aging.
If you have a difficult time bouncing back, or if you simply want to become even more resilient, the following are some all natural and powerful ways to build your resilience and at the same time become empowered.
Contrast showers, ice bath dunks, cold saunas, and generally getting cold (temporarily) is known as cryotherapy and can work to increase resilience and be incredibly empowering. Practicing cold-water immersion on a regular basis can help you develop a physical resilience to the stimulant of cold. By habituating to the cold, you will develop an adaptive response to this environmental stress. This in turn can translate into protection against other unrelated stress triggers. Regular exposure to cold starts a cascade of health benefits including improved sleep quality and the production of endorphins (feel good chemicals in the brain that naturally elevate your mood).
Complete your shower as you normally would. During the last 4 minutes, place the shower dial as hot as you can manage it (without burning yourself!) for one minute. Transition the shower dial to as cold as the pipes will bring it for one minute. Expose your entire body! Repeat this twice (always end on cold).
Embrace change and get uncomfortable
Many people spend a lot of energy trying to avoid change. This inevitably will catch up with you.
Whether it’s starting a new job, moving to a different city, or a loss of a loved one, embracing the uncomfortable change is always the best way forward.
Make social connections
Positive social relationships are linked to greater psychological and physical wellbeing. Social relationships matter when it comes to your level of resilience, in part because connecting to others can help us feel less stress when we are under pressure.
Call or text friends regularly and connect with them / confide in them.
You choose what type of exercise so long as your routine is intense!
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is ideal. Do this 30 minutes daily, while you do it make sure you are so breathless that you can’t have a conversation the entire time (by phone or the person next to you). Also, don’t do this in the evening too close to your bedtime as your body can become too overheated for an ideal sleep.
Some think if you only getting a few hours of sleep during the week, you will “catch up” on the weekend. Not possible! Cryotherapy may itself induce a deeper sleep, but sleep hygiene is always the key!
Have dark window shades, an eye mask, use white noise (like a fan), change your pillow or mattress, and make sure the room isn’t too warm (ideally 68 degrees / cool).
Work on your breath
Whenever you feel stressed out, pause what you are doing and check in with what you are thinking and how you are feeling. Take a few breaths to create space between your thoughts, emotions and reactions. See if you can shift from “I am stressed or worried” to “I notice that I am feeling stressed or worried,” and decide how you want to respond to a situation and the feeling. One way to effectively accomplish this is the 4-7-8 breath.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as “relaxing breath,” involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. This breathing pattern aims to reduce anxiety or help people create resilience. Repeat this pattern for 2-3 minutes many times daily.
Resilience in the form of a supplement
As we age and as we deal with physical, emotional, and environmental stress, our cellular reserves of energy decline. This is a decline in something called Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). Without NAD we can’t make the currency of energy for our body known as ATP. NMN is the ingredient your body needs to make NAD to supply more ATP.
By supplementing with NMN, you’re directly fueling your cells with the energy to become more resilient. You’ll feel this as more energy and experience it as a slowing down of the aging process.