In the world today, with fires and hurricanes, crazy politicians and out-of-control hate groups, many of us have a little trouble coping with our stress, and often choose activity over stillness and quiet. We fill up the quiet moments in conversation with chatter, fill up our houses with the constant noise of the television or radio, fill up our free time looking at our phones.
This week I was speaking at a conference Down Under and had the great pleasure of listening to Hugh Van Cuylenburg who spoke about the value of resilience and introduced his very simple GEM program. I loved what he had to say and I’d like to share it with you:
G is for Gratitude
Hugh emphasized the importance of focusing on what you have versus what you don’t have. A teacher in Australia, he volunteered at a school in the Himalayas for a while and found that there, where people had very little, they were so grateful for the small things he brought. This mindset was transformational for him.
E is for Empathy
Hugh talked about empathy from an altruistic point of view; to do something for someone else. When you do this, you raise your level of oxytocin and serotonin which keeps your mental state happy and subsequently more resilient. Helping others also leads to stronger, more resilient communities. It’s a win win.
M is for Mindfulness
Practicing the art of getting quiet and meditating everyday. We know the benefits of meditation but for some people it’s very hard. There’s a great meditation app called Headspace that starts you off slowly. I also use the HU app to play that uplifting sound behind all sounds. You can also start right now by staring at the gif below and breathing with it. Find a place in your life for quiet.
Did you know depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide? 1 in 7 children in the US now have a diagnosed mental illness, with 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys suffering from an anxiety disorder. When I heard those statistics, I thought about how important is to help yourself become more resilient by doing those 3 simple things.
You can also decrease your level of stress by turning off all notifications on your phone, so that you are controlling when you look at your phone versus your phone controlling you.
And of course, if depression and anxiety is something you’re currently suffering from, know you’re not alone and please ask for help. We don’t talk about it enough, but we’ve all been to those dark places, and we all need help sometimes. Talk to a friend or relative, or call Lifeline anonymously on 1-800-273-8255.
Spread your light and love, Creative Genius.