This article is about how to become more resilient in both mind and body. The authors explain their meaning of resilience, the importance of mental and physical health, some exercises that can help you build a stronger sense of self-doubt.
In order to be more resilient, it is important to have a strong mind and body. Being able to deal with stress and setbacks will help you become more resilient. Read more in detail here: how to be resilient to stress.
Editor’s note: Ben Aldridge contributed this guest article.
I found myself in a bad spot a few years back. I was suffering from intense and incapacitating anxiety and felt as if I were losing control of my head. I was suffering back-to-back panic episodes and really believed I was going to die. It was a very terrible event for me, and I was terrified. I didn’t grasp what was going on because of my lack of mental health knowledge at the time. Everything became much more terrifying as a result of this. This is often caused by a fear of the unknown.
I didn’t believe for a second that my mind was to blame when I started feeling really severe and unpleasant symptoms in my body. My pounding heart, trembling hands, and persistent nausea couldn’t possibly be caused by my thinking. I was certain I was suffering from a medical ailment. When I went to the doctor to find out what was wrong with me, I was taken aback by my diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and recurrent panic episodes. Everything was coming from my head. I had no idea how strong my ideas might be, and the entire incident had taken me totally by surprise.
It took me some time to comprehend everything and accept what was going on. I have to confess that my inexperience and fear of being labeled “crazy” prompted me to first reject this diagnosis. I was so concerned about the stigma around mental illness that I became preoccupied with my impression of the problem rather than the facts.
The doctor had given a few choices for dealing with my anxiety (a cognitive behavioral therapy course and talk therapy), but I wanted to weigh my options and learn more about what was going on. I could always do CBT/therapy later if I wanted to. I started reading in order to make an educated choice about how to cope with my anxiety. This wasn’t simply some light reading; it was a serious undertaking. I became fascinated with reading as many books as possible in order to figure out what was going on in my head. I was desperate for information.
During this time of serious investigation, I came across a slew of quite beneficial ideas. CBT, Buddhism, and the notion of a “growth mindset” were among the topics I researched. Countless works on mental health, self-help, psychology, and philosophy have been read by me. Biographies and autobiographies are two genres that I like reading. Anything that may aid in my understanding of my anxiety was added to the list. In my whole life, I’ve never eaten so much material. During the course of my investigation, I came upon Stoicism. Everything changed after that.
The Stoics Taught Me This Lesson About Embracing Voluntary Discomfort
Stoic ideas struck a chord with me right away, and I felt a strong connection to them. Reading about how this ancient Greek philosophy may help me live a better life was fascinating to me. I liked the concepts because they were practical, and the advice sounded ageless. There were several topics that I found beneficial, ranging from negative imagery to how we react to circumstances beyond our control (this was particularly helpful for my panicky mindset).
My reading preferences began to shift, and more Stoic philosophy began to appear on my ever-growing reading list. As I gained a better understanding of the philosophy, I realized how helpful it was to have a life philosophy. And this is exactly what Stoicism is about: building a way of life that is beneficial.
But there was one Stoic notion in particular that had a profound impact on my life. This, I believe, has had a significant impact on my mentality and my connection with anxiety in a good manner. This was the idea of willing discomfort. To prepare for future misfortune, the Stoics would purposefully expose themselves to adversity. This is excellently summed up by the Stoic philosopher Musonius Rufus:
When we get used to cold, heat, thirst, hunger, lack of food, hardness of bed, refraining from pleasures, and suffering pains, we will train both our spirit and our bodies.
This concept appealed to me for some reason. I knew going to the gym would help me create physical strength, but I hadn’t given much attention to how I might build a strong and robust mind. The Stoics’ various approaches to this intrigued me and started me thinking about how I might construct a mental training program. When I initially heard about this notion, I had a lot of questions: What kinds of thoughts and experiences may I employ to help me become more resilient? Is this anything that might help me deal with my anxiety? Was this a good place to put all of the philosophy I’d been reading about to the test? Is it possible for something so contradictory to work? My thoughts were racing as I started to compile a list of personal problems that I might utilize to put this concept of deliberate suffering to the test.
I ultimately had the confidence to give it a go and started to manufacture my own obstacles in the Stoic tradition of “toughening up.” I felt more confident as I accomplished more tasks. I could sense that my thoughts were shifting, which was a good thing. I recognized there was merit in this concept when I stopped suffering panic episodes. I embraced the Stoic notion of practicing hardship and went “all-in.”
The Obstacles I Set for Myself
Some moments from the difficulties I’ve set for myself and continue to set.
Some of my challenges were directly inspired by the Stoics, while others were very loosely based on them. The bulk of the challenges, on the other hand, were centered on personal methods for me to experience pain and push myself out of my comfort zone. They began modest (since I was in a very worried state at the time), but grew into larger and bolder things over time. Listed below are a few examples:
I ran my first marathon, climbed mountains, and finished a long-distance walk to challenge my body. I pushed myself at the gym in a variety of ways, did triathlons, and experimented with new and unusual sports. I learnt about my mind and how it reacts to depletion while battling tiredness and physical problems. With these obstacles, I got to experience a lot of physical pain and practice coping with it in a positive manner.
To challenge my intellect, I used ice baths, icy showers, and winter swimming in the British sea to expose myself to the cold. I fasted, slept in unexpected positions, overcame a significant phobia of needles with acupuncture, and learnt to meditate. I also tried strange foods and waited in queues for no reason other than to put my wits to the test. I began to dress inappropriately for the weather and the occasional outlandish clothing (this was quite tough for me as an introvert). Cato, a Stoic philosopher, would take this challenge to practice becoming comfortable with shame; when his companions laughed at him, he would concentrate on how he reacted to these feelings and regard it as a test of character.
To push my mind even farther, I began learning new abilities and paying attention to what my mind was doing throughout the process. It was fascinating to investigate my connection with my frustrations. I began studying Japanese and am now able to have a conversation in the language without my head exploding (well, almost). I learnt how to juggle, pick locks, and solve a Rubik’s cube in under a minute.
The challenges pushed me out of my comfort zone in a variety of ways and allowed me to put the concepts I’d been reading about to the test in a pretty safe atmosphere. They’ve taught me a lot about myself and how I deal with adversity. It’s a great moment to lean on Stoicism when I’m 22 miles into a marathon and my mind is urging me to quit. This is the ideal time to accept discomfort while I’m in the middle of an ice bath. This is a good opportunity to pay attention to my thoughts while I’m learning a new skill, coping with disappointments, or pushing myself with a finicky activity. This conceptual framework has aided me in confronting these difficulties and has given them a greater meaning. When I look at everything as a type of “mind training,” I’m able to give each obstacle I finish more meaning. This eventually spilled over into other parts of my life, and I was able to utilize everyday issues as a chance to stretch myself. Traffic is a great way to put your patience to the test. Someone is obnoxious: the ideal test for gauging and regulating my reaction. There are several such instances, and it has proven to be an effective technique for me to reframe difficult circumstances. I don’t always pass the exam, but perceiving it as a test allows me to learn from the challenges of life.
I’ve gone on innumerable excursions since beginning to explore voluntary pain, and I’ve ended up doing things I never imagined I’d be capable of. Since learning the inspiring Stoic principle that we prepare for hardship by practicing adversity, it’s reasonable to say that my life has changed dramatically. I’m no longer the panicked wreck I used to be because of my anxiety.
While I am pleased to have discovered this instrument, it is vital to stress that I am not in the least bit prepared for anything destiny may throw at me. Not in the least! That’d be ridiculously arrogant. What I truly want to convey is that I am more prepared than I was before. I’m not perfect (far from it), but I strive to improve every day. I’m a lot more confident than I was in the past in dealing with life’s curveballs. I couldn’t go to the park bench in my neighborhood without freaking out a few years back. I now actively seek out challenging and frightening circumstances. For me, this has been a big step forward. But there’s always opportunity for development, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this all leads. I’ll keep pushing myself beyond of my comfort zone and embracing Stoicism.
Stepping outside of our comfort zones, in my opinion, is a terrific approach to develop mental resilience, and I urge you to give it a try. Why not seek out some problems that will terrify you and force you to confront the unknown? You’ll be able to put your unique ideology to the test this way. Epictetus, the great Stoic philosopher, reportedly said:
Don’t go into detail about your ideology. Take it on.
Also, listen to the podcast:
Also, listen to the podcast:
Ben Aldridge is an author who specializes in practical philosophy, comfort zones, mental health, and adventure. His first book, How to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable: 43 Weird and Wonderful Methods to Develop a Strong Resilient Mindset, takes a look at different ways to push ourselves out of our comfort zones, confront our fears, and conquer our worries. On Instagram and Twitter, you can find him.
Watch This Video-
The “examples of resilience in life” is a topic that shows how people have been able to overcome challenges. There are many ways to become more resilient, and this article will give some examples of those methods.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become more mentally resilient?
A: Becoming more resilient to stress is a process. You must be willing to learn and invest time into making it happen. This can help you become better at coping with what gets thrown your way, as well as improving the quality of life in general.
What are the 5 ways of becoming more resilient?
A: There are a number of ways in which you can become more resilient, both physically and mentally. Some of these include:
– Developing good habits that help maintain your willpower over time
– Going outside to get sunlight or even just sitting near windows when the sun is shining.
– Taking an exercise class such as yoga or pilates
- 5 ways to build resilience
- how to build resilience in adults
- resilience and mental health
- resilience and mental health pdf