Managing your day-to-day health requires the development of personal resiliency. When we can cope with change effectively, we can truly take care of ourselves. Unfortunately, many of us were not taught the skills needed to maintain our everyday health.
Developing resilience is about survival skills, mindfulness, and distress tolerance, all three of which allow you to manage your stress and make sure your health stays sharp. In this article, we’ll go over four tips for everyday health so you can develop resilience and put your health first.
1. Prioritize Your Nutritional Needs
We all know the importance of sticking to a healthy diet and exercise routine. What is less talked about is what diet does for our bodies. When we consume the right kinds of vitamins and minerals, we give our cells the support they need to carry out functions that maintain and enhance our health. Most of us do not eat enough prebiotic foods, so mineral supplements are a great way to make up for that loss.
2. Developing Our Resilience
Science suggests that when the mind is overwhelmed, it’s much more challenging to access logic and respond to stimuli effectively. We have specific survival mechanisms built-in that can sometimes get out of whack. In times of danger or threat, our fight-or-flight mode can turn on, causing us to feel fear and other overwhelming emotions, so that we respond to the situation quickly and remove ourselves from the threat or danger.
This may have worked well for our ancestors, but today most of us primarily carry around mental and emotional stresses instead of threats of physical safety. Responding intensely to less threatening stimuli (i.e. a big exam or a fight with a partner) is not the most effective way to handle these situations. Instead, we can practice stress management by developing resiliency, so our reactions are much tamer, and we can problem-solve instead of making problems worse.
3. Temperature as a Tool
To switch out of fight-or-flight mode, we must engage the parasympathetic nervous system. Temperature is a way to access this internal mechanism and make more effective choices during times of distress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, run your hands under cold water, take a cold shower, jump into a pool, or hold something cold in your hand like an ice cube.
Your body will expend more of its focus on the cold temperature than your thoughts, allowing you to calm down and process what you perceive as a danger or threat more effectively. You can also use being out in nature to activate this response.
Hot water and weighted blankets can also be used to instill a sense of comfort and safety. If you are feeling anxious, taking a hot bath or putting a hot compress on your forehead may relax your muscles and calm you down as well. Play with temperature to activate the right mindset for dealing with your day-to-day stresses. In doing so, you will likely decrease stress over time, giving you a greater degree of overall health.
4. Use Mindfulness Techniques
Mindfulness is another way to take control of your health. Practicing various breathing techniques can reduce high blood pressure, control anxiety, enhance mental clarity, and reduce chronic pain. Taking up a meditation practice is a great way to start becoming more mindful for the sake of building greater health.
The Bottom Line
Managing your everyday health is about maintenance habits that allow you to develop resilience and emotional strength. Resiliency boils down to our ability to effectively cope with change, stress, and perceived or actual threats. Utilize the suggestions in this article to begin your journey towards better health. You deserve it.