Your body can help you to be courageous
Imagine this - You're facing a tough situation at work which involves speaking up to your boss. You worry and stress about it all day and continue thinking about it as you get home where you find the kids screaming for dinner. Cue the overwhelm and thoughts of, "I can't do this!"
It's a scenario I'm sure you can relate to! And while you've been too busy worrying about it, you might not have noticed that what's being asked of you is resilience AND courage at the same time.
This relationship between resilience and courage - and how we can better manage our resilience to fuel our courage in difficult times is the topic I explored in depth recently with Nashifa Dharshi, body-based resilience coach from Ontario, Canada.
Nashifa is an expert at managing resilence through body-based techniques, which is exactly what most of us overthinkers need to get out of our head!
Nashifa explains that it's difficult to be courageous if we don't have resiliency:
"Resilience is about being aware of how your body is reacting, what your body is doing. It's about taking responsibility but also awareness of your body because our bodies have been colonized in a lot of ways. It's like you are going to ignore your body so that a couple of advertisement lines tell you that you need a thing."
"In fact, if we're tuned into our bodies, we can actually determine which boundaries work for us. We can determine which actions work for us. And it's easy sometimes to see that within our body, and sometimes it's difficult, but if we were all to just do like a really simple activity."
When we use techniques to connect with our body it helps activate the part of our brain which allows us to be kinder to ourselves in stressful times, Nashifa explains.
"Your prefrontal cortex is also the part of your brain that's able to provide compassion for yourself so you don't feel as critical about yourself. All those parts of our brain when we're scared are flipped off, we're living in our lizard brain or we're living in the mammalian brain that's really about flight or fright or just survival.
When we can engage those parts of our brain through small sensory experiences like rolling a ball in our hand, it brings our pre-frontal cortex online, which can help to remind us that we're in control of our emotions.
"You're controlling the pressure with the ball. If you're doing it
When we are resilient, grounded and centered, we start in a much better position when it comes to handling tough situations.
under your feet we don't have trauma associated with our feet usually. The sensory receptors under your feet are not hopefully being triggered and that's exactly it, that you're reaffirming touch receptors in a way that hopefully isn't triggering for you."
There's now also a great excuse to get the knitting needles out and have fun with our self-care, because it reminds our brains that we're safe.
"And so it just needs to start with small things like bouncing a ball. And if you have kids they love this, like bouncing the ball and seeing who's going to be able to handle it so hang on for longer, that kind of thing. Or bouncing a basketball back and forth and that's a good way to reconnect," Nashifa says.
Other ways to bring us back to the present and ourselves is to notice what we are seeing, feeling, smelling and hearing.
When we're resilient, grounded and centered it means we start in a much better position when it comes to handling tough situations.
Nashifa recommends experimenting and playing around with techniques gently until you find things that work for you as you gradually build up your ability to connect to your body and remember to use your techniques before and after scary situations.
Watch the full interview: