One of my favorite things that I learned from becoming a Social Resilience Model trainer is the power of attention. This may sound like such a simple concept, but we can build resilience, decrease stress, build new habits, and retrain our brain simply by paying attention. This fills me with so much hope!! We don’t have to be stuck in a habit or way of life. We can retrain our brain!
Attention & The Brain
Our brain builds neuropathways to support the hobbies, habits, and lifestyles we give our attention to. This is why when we first start a new habit or activity it feels hard at first and it requires a lot of thought. But eventually as we keep doing it, it comes more naturally and we don’t have to think about it as much as we first did. This is because our brain has built a neuropathway in order for us to do the activity more efficiently.
Consider a time when you started something new. How did it feel at first? Was it challenging? After a month or two had it become easier? Does it now require as much thought as it did at first?
The Tool of Attention For Resilience
Attention is a key concept in the Social Resilience Model. Using attention to increase our resilience is a great way to increase our overall wellbeing. Here are some ways to use attention to help build resilience:
- Attention to Tracking Your Stress. A big part of building resilience is tracking how your body experiences stress and calm. When we pay attention to how stress impacts us, it can become easier to notice and do activities that increases calm within ourselves.
- Attention to Grounding. This is putting your attention to a solid surface around you. This is a great way to increase feelings of calmness within ourselves. When we experience calm instead of stress our body functions at it’s best. We think more clearly and thrive when we are not overwhelmed by stress.
- Attention to Good Resources. This means putting our attention on the good things in our lives. The things that bring us joy and fills us with peace. This could mean thinking about your favorite pet, hobby, place, season, item, or memory. When we put our attention on these good things we can increase our calm and resilience.
Choose a way this week that you can practice using one of these tools of attention!