In 1983, Mathew Wilder, so eloquently said, ‘Ain’t nobody going to break-a my stride’. This statement epitomises those people around us whom appear to ‘take everything in their stride’. Often these people will maintain a positive outlook on life and an obvious resilience that flies in the face of the constant flux that has come to represent 2020; How?

This month I will endeavour to explain how, as individuals, we too can begin to ‘take more things in our stride’ so that we too can be more resilient, sustain an ability to cope during these challenging times and endure beyond this pandemic, emerging more positive, self-aware and that best version of you.

To begin this journey remember our blog about Emotional Intelligence and how people with a high degree of emotional intelligence (EQ) think about what they’re feeling, what their emotions mean and how these emotions can effect other people. Self Awareness of these feelings is one of the fundamental pillars of EQ and is the start of any change, for it is how you think, that will inform how you feel that, will ultimately, influence your behaviour. By becoming more self-aware you will be able to identify your triggers, mitigate the amount you choose to put in your stress bucket and fundamentally cultivate more positive behaviours for yourself and the people who matter most.

What goes in your stress bucketIn practical terms consider this; You’ve had a ‘bad’ day, you are experiencing the ‘signs and symptoms’ of stress e.g. you are feeling increasingly frustrated, worried or sad. You then react to your partner, your family and or your friends or colleagues. This may manifest as shouting, withdrawing or crying. The benefit of becoming more self-aware means that you can ‘get out ahead’ of your emotional response to prevent an overflowing stress bucket. You will be better informed, able to deploy defusing techniques that help you retain control and think, feel and behave more positively.

Becoming more self-aware and putting less in your stress bucket allows you greater space & capacity to consider what the ‘lived experience’ may be for loved ones, friends and colleagues. It is this empathy that makes you better able to defuse from any negative behaviours you may be on the receiving end of. Empathy provides context, context ensures you remain present. In remaining more present your increased empathy further informs your motivation, self-regulation and social skills, enabling you to take more things in your stride.

Brett Rennolds is a qualified psychotherapist DSFH, HPD, MNCH NCH Supervisor and registered with the Complimentary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).  Brett specialises in a solution-focused approach, complimented by the principles of CBT, ACT, mental health first aid and hypnotherapy.  He continues to provide therapy online, via an encrypted platform.  For more information please visit his website.

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