There are two items in the “S” category of resiliency that you should be intentional about if you’re stressed:
Have you stopped long enough in your daily routine or in that mental tape recorder that automatically rewinds and plays over and over again to actually identify what emotion you are feeling and write it down?
What’s the point, you ask? There’s actually a psychological benefit that results when you stop long enough to pay attention to your specific emotion and then pen it. Why? Neurobiology – through brain imaging – has proven that this activity turns on the anterior cingulate in your brain. The process of writing down your emotion(s) helps you psychologically identify and process the stress. In addition, it helps makes your thoughts conscious.
Aren’t all thoughts conscious? Actually, no. For a number of reasons that I will not go in to for this blog, each person “does” life from a set of automatic, unquestioned beliefs. These beliefs, assumptions, and perceptions are rarely questioned until your thought life begins to work against you instead of working for you. In other words, they are so automatic, they are rarely brought to the conscious level until they are questioned. Writing down what is stressing you puts perspective on the mental stress you are feeling.
So…go ahead. Write down what you’re feeling and thinking. It’s therapeutic! You may also be able to identify – by writing it down – that your stress and/or worry isn’t as big as you thought. This point in no way minimizes your specific stressor, but merely proves that writing it down is psychologically beneficial.
It’s my favorite time of the year. The weather is warm, and the sun breathes new life into me. If you’re stressed, a 20 minute time of “sun block” is beneficial for a number of reasons.
- It relieves stress.
- It improves mood.
- It provides Vitamin D
Go ahead. Carve out time to sit and reflect. You can even combine the two activities into one!
This is Hope Unveiled!