10 Tips for Rest, Recovery and Rejuvenation

10 Tips for Rest, Recovery and Rejuvenation

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The Season for Stillness

We tumble to the end of another warp-speed year. We spin through our tasks and grasp at floods of information.

We press too hard, too fast and for too long. Reservoirs are sucked dry. Self-awareness fades. Self-regulation is impaired. Your health and your relationships are at risk.

It is time to slow down, repair, rejuvenate and reconnect with what matters.

In a world of optimisation, ambition, pride and duty, we push hard on multiple fronts. The rest, recovery and rejuvenation cycle is squeezed out between ever shorter bursts of dopamine. We are child-like in our impulsive tapping, swiping, checking, buying, rushing, feeding… compelled to chase the next hit.

As I come to the end of 2019, I feel battered. My mind is a little flat. Attention is fragile. Relationships are edgy. I know I need a good break. I am struggling to disconnect, calm my hypervigilance, and allow the natural cycle of recovery. I sense it in our family, friends and colleagues.

Rest, recovery and rejuvenation (R3) is the next competitive edge. Ironic!

My end of year message it to give rest, recovery and rejuvenation your full attention.

At a cellular level, the R3 cycle is vital to repair and rejuvenation. It is the key to longevity and sits at the biochemical core of fasting, sleep quality, intense activity, meditation, and cold water baths. It is a promising solution that supports this process of slowing, cleaning and repairing hard working cells.

The R3 cycle is key to musculoskeletal strength and physical wellbeing. Intimacy, touch and dreaming (REM) sleep stimulate the R3 cycle for emotional wellbeing. The default network is the R3 cycle for cognition allowing us to focus, engage and refresh our minds.

Our end-of-year pause is an opportunity to capture the R3 cycle for life and family. Please make an effort to allow for adequate rest, recovery and rejuvenation as your year comes to an end. Engage your family in this process so that you may reconnect in more intimate ways.

Share what works well for you.

OPTIMISM

OPTIMISM

Research Highlight: Optimism is a super skill

95% of the most successful 10% of people scored “I think and communicate with optimism” with ‘very often’ or ‘nearly always’ (in a sample of 21,000).

The human mind is Velcro for the negative. Based on a high threat environment, a negative and threatening explanation might have been advantageous. Today, pessimism disables you.

Only 9% of the least resilient people score optimism with ‘very often’ or ‘nearly always’.

Question: How can I explain this adversity in one enabling sentence?

Condition: Notice but reject the easy negative self-talk

Discipline: Think and express yourself with positive language

Caution: Our times are testing. This will take courage.

What you can do right now?

  1. Ask someone close if you are optimistic or pessimistic. Explore an example
  2. Watch the content of your thoughts. Notice the words you choose to make sense of a situation. For example: “This always happens to me”
  3. Explore different ways to express the situation. For example: “What could I do differently” Notice the shift from blame to responsibility.
  4. Be alert for positive news.  Some suggest that we aim to express at least three positive observations for every complaint.

In the background:

  • Fatigue, isolation and distress will reduce optimism
  • Sleep well, be social, relax and play
  • Nurture your positive emotions – joy, gratitude, appreciation, hope, kindness

Note: With the current social instability, political malaise and climate risk, the value and importance of optimism will increase. It is well proven that optimism can be learned and has wide ranging personal and economic benefits. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is proven an effective solution to depression. We use the term situational agility to describe the healthy and adaptive use of the optimism in key situations.

Own your joy!

Libramont Regenerative Alliance : Messages from the Woods

Libramont Regenerative Alliance : Messages from the Woods

Libramont Regenerative Alliance : Messages from the Woods

The Resilience Institute Europe had the honour to participate in a unique event reuniting more than 100 business leaders, philosophers, scientists and experts in the woods of Bertrix in Belgium.

Surrounded by a beautiful and old forest, we brainstormed and exchanged ideas to rethink our economic and entrepreneurial model and move towards a regenerative economy. We were all truly inspired by speakers among which Nicolas Hulot, Frédéric Lenoir, Bertrand Piccard, Gauthier Chapelle and other experts, and by leaders of large and small companies showing us that change is possible. It led to very rich dialogues and insights. I personally went home with 5 main messages.

1-The need for change is super urgent.

We all know that climate change is an undeniable threat to the planet. Even though we know this, the facts, trends and evolutions as exposed by the experts were truly chocking. We need to hear these messages much more. Yes, Greta, we need to panic!

2-Communication does matter.

While panic and fear are good to wake us up, we need to find inspiring and positive ways to communicate, uniting everyone behind this project. People will only take actions if they are touched in the heart, if they feel inspired and guided by a purpose. We need leaders, in all areas of society, who can guide us and inspire us, even if the path is not clear and no one has “the” solution. Events like Regenerative Alliance, initiatives as Sign for my future, organizations as B-Corp are very hopeful signals. We need more of those initiatives and courageous people who are willing to stand up and take the lead.

3-Nature can inspire solutions

Biomimicry seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. As an example, in the late 90’s Japanese engineers modeled a bullet train after a kingfisher, to solve the loud booming sound when the train was exiting typical train tunnels. Janine Benuys said: “When we look at what is truly sustainable, the only real model that has worked over long periods of time is the natural world.” We do have huge room for improvement in that area, reconnecting ourselves much more systematically with Nature as a source of inspiration for seeking new solutions. We need to change our mindset, become humbler and understand that every species, including humans has a reason for fitting in this world. Isn’t it time that we open up, go beyond analytical thinking and trust our intuitive brain much more? 

4-Start with Self

“Be the change that you want to see in the world”. The challenge that we face is so big that we cannot solve it using the same old paradigm as the one that brought us to this urgency state. We need to enable all of our dimensions – body, heart, mind and spirit – to be ready. This is at the very core of our work at The Resilience Institute Europe. After these two days, I am even more convinced that resilience is an accelerator for the change that we seek. Science shows us that we can all learn the skills to become resilient; it requires reflection, awareness and daily practice. Personal transformation will facilitate collective transformation. As the Dalai Lama stated in a funny way: “if you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito”. 

5-Politicians, Scientists, Entrepreneurs, Business leaders: unite!

Building on personal transformation, collective transformation will emerge faster. This requires all actors in society to collaborate and roll up their sleeves together.

The Regenerative Alliance was the best proof that that once you bring people together, it broadens the mind and opens the heart. It is of course easier to do this with people who are already convinced. Convincing the rest of the population is an enormous and complex challenge, with many consequences for all. How to do this without social chaos? Innovative and courageous leaders might well show us a path… 

 

Article by : Katrien Audenaert, Partner The Resilience Institute Europe

The purpose that rises above all

The purpose that rises above all

Originally published on www.resiliencei.com and reproduced with permission.

By 

The purpose that rises above all

One thing every human seeks is joy. More commonly it is called happiness – a positive or pleasurable emotion. The evolution of joy is clearly based on our need to seek survival. From the simplest bacterium to the most evolved human, three billion years have embedded the drive for joy into life. When we take a moment to reflect, it will be joy that we seek above all else.

For the bacteria it is simple: move away from threat (anger), suffering (sadness) and starvation (fear) and seek safety (calm), comfort (contentment) and satiety (fullness). We share this with all species on the planet. For many of us, that continues to be the main game in town. An increasing number of us lurch with little awareness between anger, sadness and fear. Whole communities can be lost to joy. Many simply grasp for the easiest scraps of joy to be found in sugar, drugs, sex, domination, etc.

We can do so much better.

There are many shades of pleasurable emotion. At one end we have schadenfreude, which is to enjoy the misery of others. At the other we have bliss, exuberance and contentment. Explore your joyous options. There is no more creative and satisfying pursuit.

 

It is surprisingly simple. Just practise!

From the most simple, physical and proven to more esoteric here are 15 pathways to joy.

  1. Use your chopstick for two minutes per day
  2. Secure eye contact and smile at every greeting
  3. Watch, read or share something funny every day
  4. Throw your head back and laugh out loud
  5. Take each of the words above and find a memory that matches
  6. When you feel pleasure, positivity or lightness, name the emotion
  7. Relate a happy moment to loved ones every day
  8. Meditate, contemplate or pray with a different version of joy
  9. Make Friday a day to focus fully on maximising your expression of pleasure and joy
  10. When you notice a worry, exhale slowly and appreciate this moment
  11. When you ruminate on the past, exhale slowly and appreciate this moment
  12. Seriously improve your sleep discipline: length, timing and quality
  13. Exercise, even if a brief short burst, every single day
  14. Seek sunshine for 20 minutes per day
  15. Fast for a day a week

The single biggest delusion

Consumer economics has successfully convinced the world that happiness comes from outside. We deserve it, are entitled to, have to buy, must get, need this medicine, will be happy when…

Expecting something or someone to give you joy is clearly delusional. Consumption takes us from joy to anger, disappointment, anxiety, and shame.

Joy is internal. It is a human responsibility, not a right or entitlement. We find joy in our bodies, our emotions and our minds. This is the ultimate privilege of being human. It is your responsibility to explore, discover, train and learn how to express your joy.

Ha-ha-ha-ha!