Resilience Hack #1: Absence may make the heart grow fonder but distance definitely promotes better self-care.Apr 29, 2019
This hack will help you sustain your performance and ‘rebound’ from adversity (two of the four features of a resilient mindset).
What’s the difference between me saying, ‘I want to make better choices about my psychological health and wellbeing’ and, ‘Anna Rowley wants to make better decisions about her psychological health and wellbeing’? Turns out there’s a big freakin difference. Let me explain.
One of the biggest problems preventing us from activating resilience is our failure to manage how we feel. I feel frustrated so I become frustrated. I’m triggered by something you said and next thing I know I’ve become withdrawn, sullen and argumentative. One way to put our feelings in their place – as a passenger providing information not in the driver’s seat choosing our destination – is to use psychological distancing. Here’s how to implement our first hack 👊🏽.
When you are faced with a stressful decision or experience, or you are on an emotional ledge, about to leap into self-criticism or self-doubt do this:
- Visualize looking at yourself as if you were an observer or a “fly-on-the-wall”. Don’t feel or think from the inside, watch yourself from the outside. And-just-notice. This technique helps you shift your perspective from ‘I’ or ‘Me’ to ‘You’. This means you are less likely to become how you feel as you have put some much-needed psychological distance between you and your emotions.
You can also try this:
- Use your name. For example, let’s imagine you have to deliver a 5-minute talk. Rather than say, “I’m feeling really anxious about giving the talk. I’m just no good at this” use your name instead. For example, I’d say, “Anna, you worry too much. You can do this”. This shift from the first person, ‘I’, to using your name, has been shown by many studies to reduce stress, increase performance and prevent post event rumination, AKA focusing on the single, smallest thing that went wrong and dwelling on it.
Today, make a move and practice psychological distancing.