Developing resilience in a busy hectic life is as important as balancing your microbiome! We all have busy times and how we respond in those busy times is the key to leading a less stressful life. How can we ensure that we respond in positive ways when things are hectic or going awry?
With current on-going social and climate change, we live in a world where aspects of daily life can change in an instant. What was normal on one day can completely change the next. Fires have ravaged through Queensland this week and as I was heading to a conference on the Sunny Coast a semi-trailer ran off the road closing the M1 (the major highway) for hours and I was stuck in it. We had diversions and detours for hours. It reminded me that things can change in an instant. If I responded with anger the remainder of my day is potentially affected for the worst. How I responded in that moment mattered! I decided to pass the time away calling my family for a chat, listening to my favourite podcasts and enjoying the beautiful scenery surrounding me as I passed through the Glass House Mountains.
I could have become completely flustered and frustrated however I chose to remain calm as I continued to move forward. I am not saying that I was completely oblivious to the added burden (the hours spent on a busy diversion) however as much as I could I chose to remain calm and centred. Whilst driving I was reminded of the tremendous power of the Adaptogenic herbs I dispense. In the herbal medicine world, we call these herbs adaptogens as they do just that: help us to adapt to the stress response, adapt to alleviating stress in positive ways such as: reducing fatigue, improving endurance and mental health. More on the adaptogens below!
Without getting to technical developing “resilience” is being able to adapt in an ever-changing world. The aim is to make better decisions under times of uncertainty. How do we do this? My aim is to help people make better health choices, in other words become more resilient internally through health and well being. A stronger internal body means a stronger external life.
Do one thing for yourself every day that sustains you! One simple thing that creates peace and serenity that helps toward developing strength through consistency. If this means making sure you eat healthily then do it, if it means walking every day for 24 mins then do it, if it means meditating for 24 mins then do it. If it’s complex, then it’s probably not it. Make this one simple thing, one action that you consistently attend to like watering a flower until it blooms!
Each day this means to me:
I meditate or a walk on the beach with Erik (the wonder pup), ride my bike, go to the gym or do yoga. When I don’t do this something just doesn’t feel right. This practice helps me to be strong enabling me to handle the challenges of the day, developing my resilience so I can respond in a positive way in this ever-changing world. Commit to yourself – you are the only person you have really!
Here’s a few tips on how to develop resilience:
- Get enough sleep and exercise enabling you to better manage stress when it arrives
- Practice thought awareness – focus on the positive and what you do have that is fantastic in your life
- Practice cognitive restructuring to change the way that you think about negative situations and bad events. when they arrive say okay here you are and thank you. Now I choose something else.
- Learn from your mistakes and failures (it’s okay to fail as that is how we learn)
- Choose your response. I choose to be grateful and positive in my world.
- Maintain perspective. It is not always perfect, there is no such thing.
- Develop strong relationships with others (friends and family). They are important and help you feel supported. It only takes one friend to be there.
- Take Adaptogens! and B-Complex vitamins (you use more during times of stress).
Adaptogens – The modern day stress herbs. A little bit of stress is a good thing for the body. It keeps us alert and enables us to move out of situations that may potentially hurt or put you in danger. It is when stress is chronic, on-going over a long period of time that the damage is done. It causes exhaustion, fatigue, high blood pressure and heart disease, obesity (as cortisol remains high sugar imbalance occurs), and mental health issues. High stress impacts immunity and impacts your gut bacterial balance. In other words can cause leaky gut. Here are a few of my favourite adaptogenic herbs. Like all herbs they perform more than one action.
Rhodiola (Artic Root or Rose Root) grows in the Arctic cold regions of the world). It enhances physical work performance and improves endurance exercise and muscle strength. It calms and enhances learning, cognitive and memory performance, protects the nervous system from oxidative damage.
Please read more on how Schisandra, Rhodiola and Siberian Ginseng were used by the Russian Army here: Russians were studying herbs
Withania (Ashwaganda or Indian Ginseng) is used to enhance longevity and when stress abounds. It helps in times of both physical and emotional exhaustion and fatigue. It can be used as a tonic for the elderly.
Gotu Kola (commonly known as Centella or Indian Pennywort), supports adrenal exhaustion, fatigue and nervous breakdown. It supports healthy memory function, whereby studies have shown it improves speed and accuracy of working memory and the mood in the elderly. It provides relief of skin conditions, promotes healthy connective tissue, reduces swelling and provides support for vascular integrity. It helps wound healing.
Rehmannia (Chinese Foxglove) is an excellent herb for autoimmune diseases as it suppresses antibody formation. It is a major adrenal tonic and anti-inflammatory. It helps to increase stamina and improve general well-being.
Siberian Ginseng helps to balance the ‘’on/off’’ switch when stress engages. It balances the hormone interplay. It restores vigour, improves health and in Chinese Medicine promotes a long life.
Schisandra known as Magnolia vine has bright berry fruits that are used to make the herbal medicine. This digestive herb enhances phase 1 & 2 detoxification, relieves chronic fatigue, physical stress and debility. It improves physical and mental performance and concentration. It is considered a nerve and adaptogenic tonic.
Gynostemma (Southern ginseng) has been used as a rejuvenating elixir by the people in the mountainous regions of Southern China to increase endurance, strength and to relieve fatigue. It is known to the local people as ‘xiancao’ or the ‘Immortality Herb’’.
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