Our 11th Annual Head for the Cure - North Texas Virtual 5K exists to build awareness, raise funds, and ignite hope for the Dallas brain cancer community. A part of the local planning team and Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach at FriscoFIT City Health, Gerryl Krillic is bringing back her #WorkoutWednesdays series to not only get you ready for the virtual 5K but for you to become the best version of yourself!
This week is all about mental health and how to stay resilient in a time that is ever-changing. Anyone who has had a loved one affected by brain cancer knows to live each day to the fullest, and Gerryl wants to share how any person can be strong during this difficult time.
One might describe this year as being similar to riding a roller coaster – the ups and downs have been unpredictable and fast.
Yet, despite all the uncertainties, you will survive and have the opportunity to thrive. How? The key is RESILIENCE.
In the article, Top 4 Tips for Staying Resilient in Challenging Times, Dr. Sears has outlined simple, science-based practices that you can begin today to reframe negative thoughts, boost immunity, and increase overall happiness. Even in the midst of a pandemic. Here is what he has to say:
"Resilience means different things in different circumstances. When “stuff” happens, the resilient person has the ability to shield themselves from the stuff overtaking their minds and quickly bounce back to turn a problem into an opportunity for personal growth. Often, easier said than done! Over my fifty years as a doctor, husband, and parent, I have noticed that the happiest and emotionally healthiest people – at all ages – are the most resilient. Also, I am a show-me-the-science type of doctor. One of the largest scientific studies, the GRANT Study (comparing how people feel with how healthy they are), revealed that resilient persons tend to have stronger immune systems. Try these take-home tools:
1. Not in My Mind!
When all this “stuff” began in early 2020 I realized that I must put a protective shield around my mind. It is especially vital to keep the germs of bad news from infecting my mind. So, I put up an imaginary sign in my mind:
No entry! Keep out!
When bad news infects my email or text, I quickly, by reflex, click on the trash-bin button.
Reframe to remain resilient. Pick your personal cue word that immediately prompts you to stay “up.” My favorite is “reframe!” As soon as a toxic thought or scene attacks my mind, I imagine a protective “reframe” and insert a pleasant memory or scene. Build a frame around your mind.
2. Bound Back and Bounce Up
Resilience means not only the ability to bounce back from life’s setbacks but also to bounce up using these tools to become a wiser, happier person because of how you handled the problems.
When you let bad stuff overtake your mind your decision-making abilities weaken just at a time when you need to “up” your decision-making abilities toward getting back on your personal path for life. As a result, your immune system weakens, making you more prone to getting physically ill; and your emotional system weakens, leading you to become more emotionally ill. This can cause a dopamine dip. Dopamine is your zest-for-life neurohormone. This is why resilient persons tend to be healthier and happier persons.
The advice I give to my deeply worried friends is: “The longer you dwell, the deeper your well.” This means the more you ruminate on toxic thoughts the more cerebral real estate they take up and the harder they are to erase. Life is not happy in Worryville!
3. Radiate Resilience
Imagine the “vibes” you are sending to your friends and family when you convey resilience. Especially during these stressful times, people need to be around uplifting people. “I needed that” is a phrase I love to hear when giving someone uplifting advice. Vibes are real. Your eyes, words, and facial and body language light up the happy centers in the brains of those around you.
Your family is more likely to remember how you bounced back from the setbacks and crises rather than the actual setbacks that occurred. For example, over the past two decades, we have had diagnoses of cancer in four family members. “How to heal from cancer” became a familiar subject at our family get-togethers. After discussing the problem, we would quickly get the solution train back on track by brainstorming about “how can we help the family member heal?” Our family motto became: “Together, we will heal!”
It’s okay to be sad. When a sad situation happens, let your naturally sensitive self emote. And, let your family see your sensitivity. Resilience doesn’t mean, “Don’t let it bother you!” On the other hand, be bothered, but then bounce back when you see yourself going downhill.
4. Stay on Your Personal Path
This is a resilience phrase I frequently use for advising young persons in my medical practice. We talk about the importance of knowing “what your personal path is,” and I teach young people how to stay on their personal path. Do you have a wish list and a path to attain it? Resilience is the key to staying on your path. Many of life’s setbacks will derail you. Mastering resilience helps you bounce back into your personal path to health and happiness.”
I welcome you to share this information with those who may benefit from it, including your neighbors, friends, and family.
Wishing you all wellness one step at a time!
Gerryl, FriscoFIT City Health