We live in a world which, while full of beauty, miracles, and hope, is also ever changing and challenging with many toxic influences. We’re exposed daily to stressors that affect our ability to live in vibrant physical, mental and emotional health. Our bodies and minds are constantly forced to adapt, to be resilient. Life has always been full of risk and challenges, but we are certainly in a time of heightened risk, stress, emotions and fear. We face toxins and threats not only in our physical world, with a deadly virus and toxic pollutants in the very air we breathe, but also toxic attitudes such as racism and hate.
Resilience is our mental and physiological ability to bounce back from life’s disruptions, challenges, stressors and setbacks. We often think of resilience as being strong in spirit, but resilience applies to the body as well. In our rapidly changing world, this quality is more important than ever, however epidemic rates of chronic disease and mental health issues reveal a serious decline in resilience.
All of our efforts to cultivate an ideal quality of life require us to actively support resilience. So how do we strengthen our own resilience to support our health, wellbeing and ability to pursue our purpose in the world?
Resilience is built through many different factors, including everyday health habits (such as eating, sleeping), physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, diet and nutrition, relationships, community and having a sense of purpose.
One way to look at resilience is like a health “bank account”. A good bank account includes a savings account with money put aside for unexpected expenses to avoid taking on debt. Focusing on habits to build resilience is like building a savings account. These reserves help you face and overcome challenges when they arise with much less consequence (debt). It doesn’t mean you will never face a health challenge or life stressor. What it means is you will bounce back more quickly. When it comes to physical health, unfortunately too many of us face a health crisis when our health “bank account” is already depleted. This hampers our ability to recover from these health challenges and bounce back without serious consequences. It goes without saying that when you’re already sick is not the time to start building your resilience!
Building resilience requires optimization of habits in many different areas of life. Habits are so important because we do them automatically. Consistency is key and health is a daily practice.
We must do the foundational work our bodies and minds need every single day.
These foundations for the body include:
- proper nutrition and hydration
- supporting digestion and gut health
- building immunity
- reducing inflammation
- optimizing detoxification
- hormonal balance
- prioritizing sleep
- choosing exercise that is appropriate for our fitness level
Foundations for the mind and spirit include:
- reducing/managing stressors
- time in nature
- time in reflection/meditation/prayer
- having a sense of purpose
- living in community
- living in alignment with your values
- having a positive and growth mindset
The role of mindset can not be overstated when it comes to building resilience! We must understand and believe that we have the power to affect our health destiny and that our bodies have the innate ability to repair and regenerate when supported to do so. Ultimately it is about trusting in your body’s miraculous capabilities rather than fearing your body and accepting a scary diagnosis with resignation. We can actually change our body’s biochemistry with our thoughts! So while action is needed to change our habits, do not underestimate the power of your thoughts to work either for you or against you.
Signs you may be suffering from a lack of resilience when it comes to your health are:
- feeling overly fatigued at the end of the day (or at the beginning!)
- feeling anxious or overly stressed
- reacting to many different foods
- getting sick easily
- excessive fatigue after a strenuous workout
- suffering from unexplained symptoms of any kind
These are all signs you would benefit from cultivating a healthier baseline. In order to maintain sustainable outcomes while recovering from a health challenge or just building a healthy baseline, look closely at your day to day health habits.
At the Center for Fully FunctionalⓇ Health we use our 5 Step Fully FunctionalⓇ process to help you regain your health and develop resilience! We provide expertise, a “roadmap” and support so you can:
- Identify the root causes or contributing factors to the lack of resilience
- Reduce the negative influences on physical health and mindset
- Optimize detoxification and function
- Support the body with supplements, movement, self care and healthy relationships
- Personalize your health journey. You take an active role in your own healing.
Times of crisis, such as the pandemic we are experiencing now, demonstrate our need for resilience and bring opportunities for reinvention and growth. How are you supporting your resilience during this time? Leave a comment to share your strategies and how you’re doing!