1) Check perspective – rate the problem on a ‘scale of awfulness’. How significant is the latest disagreement? Is it really pushing a 10 and something verging on the end of the world, or is it more like a 3 – akin to a stubbed toe? The rating is the first step to forming a proportionate response.
2) Check reaction – breathing is a much under-rated resource. Taking time to momentarily escape the situation, to focus on breathing, can bring us back to a calmer state and help us make a rational decision about the best way to respond.
3) Check success – the inspirational positive psychologist Martin Seligman extols the virtues of listing three things we’re grateful for every day. By making this a habit, we’re not only boosting dopamine and serotonin; but also strengthening the neural pathways responsible for finding the good stuff – i.e. it takes less effort to be happy. Over the holidays I plan to make this more specific, and note three ways my children have made me grateful, and maybe even joyful, that day.
Arming myself with a plan helps me visualise success and gives me a better chance of coming through each day…school holidays or work…with my resilience intact.
If this article resonates with you, then Vivid State can help. Our workshop Resilience Decoded is coming up on 15th May in London. Sign up for early bird tickets here.