October 02, 2021 4 min read1 Comment
“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”
3 ways to build your immunity & resilience during uncertainty, for a healthier future.
Life is full of uncertainties. The world is going through one of its toughest times ever. In Robert Schuller’s book “Tough times never last but tough people do” he discusses how individuals can overcome obstacles by never stop believing in and developing themselves, that one cannot emerge from a problem unchanged because problems never leave us the way they found us. They make us stronger and enable us to realise our faults.
How have you evolved and adapted to emerge stronger and better during these times of uncertainty? Some of us are stuck ‘languishing’ with physical and mental weariness as a result of restrictions and extended lockdowns. For others fear and uncertainty have left us feeling stressed, anxious, and powerless over the direction of our own lives. And for some the pandemic has been the imputes to change our lives for the better, making us more resilient and focused on areas we needed to concentrate on to live a healthy and happy life.
However we emerge into the ‘new norm’ and whatever happens in the future, it’s important to remember that our own immunity helps protect us and keeps us healthy. Here’s our top 3 sustainable tips to help get you started.
1.Learn to cope with uncertainty
Life is filled with uncertainty and worries about the future. While many things remain outside your control, adjusting your mindset is key to coping with difficult circumstances and confidently facing the unknown.
· Re-focus your mind on controlling what’s under your control. Catch your moments of worrying out by switch from ineffective worrying into active problem-solving, staying focused, busy and active.
· Challenge your need for certainty by identifying behaviours such as excessively seeking reassurance from others, micromanaging others, procrastinating and repeatedly checking on things. By being aware of these you can begin to let go of negative behaviours, reduce stress and worry, and free up time and energy.
· Learn to accept uncertainty by identifying your uncertainty triggers, such as reading media stories that focus on worst-case scenarios, being consumed by social media or simply communicating with anxious friends – so you can avoid or reduce your exposure to them. Also recognize when you feel the need for certainty by looking for the physical cues that you’re feeling anxious (such as tension in your neck or shoulders, shortness of breath, headache, and upset stomach). Take a moment to pause and recognize that you’re craving reassurance.
2. Focus on the present through mindfulness & breathing
Uncertainty is often cantered on worries about the future and all the bad things you can anticipate happening. But by being fully connected to the present, you can better interrupt the negative assumptions running through your mind. With regular practice, mindfulness can help change your preoccupation with future worries to a stronger appreciation of the present moment—as well as help calm your mind, ease stress, and boost your overall mood. Remember each time you focus your attention back on the present, you’re strengthening a new mental habit that can help you break free of uncertainty.
Don’t forget when focusing on the present moment to b-r-e-a-t-h calmly and allow yourself to simply feel and observe what you’re thinking. Take some slow, deep breaths or try a meditation to keep you anchored in the present. When your mind wanders back to worrying or the feelings of uncertainty return, refocus your mind on the present moment and your own breathing and let go out the worries that come up.
3. Manage your stress & anxiety
Taking steps to reduce your overall stress and anxiety levels can help you interrupt the downward spiral of negative thoughts, find inner calm, and better cope with the uncertainty in your life. · Get moving. Exercise is a natural and effective stress-reliever and anti-anxiety treatment that also gives your immune system a great boost. Try adding a mindfulness element and focusing on how your body feels as you move. · Make time for relaxation. Choose a relaxation technique such as meditation, stretching, or deep breathing exercises and try to set aside time each day for regular practice.
· Get plenty of sleep. Excessive worry and uncertainty can disturb your sleep—just as a lack of quality sleep can fuel anxiety and stress. Improving your daytime habits and taking time to relax and unwind before bed can help you to sleep better at night.
· Eat a healthy diet. One of the keys to a healthy immune system is eating right. The gut and immune systems are connected, eating healthy leads to a healthy microbiome, which leads to a healthy immune system that can help fight off infection faster. Food is medicine, and can also be your poison! Listen to what your body is telling you – it never lies.
· Take vitamins, minerals, or other supplements for a boost. Vitamin supplements can't replace a healthy diet, however some people may need supplements to correct deficiencies. Certain supplements that are known to have immune-boosting properties include adrenal herbs (such as Ginseng and Ashwagandha), Vitamin C and D, Curcumin, Ginger and garlic.
· Minimise alcohol and drink in moderation. Studies have shown a relationship between chronic heavy alcohol consumption, damages to the immune system and increased susceptibility to infections. Consider limiting alcohol consumption to weekends and have non-alcoholic substitutes on hand during weekdays.
Taking preventative steps to build your immunity and resilience during uncertainty will always be beneficial for your physical and mental health, now and in the future.
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