The ghosts and goblins inside your head are far scarier than anything The Walking Dead could ever think up. That’s because your thoughts are what keep you from exercising. Your fears are what keep you from changing your eating habits. Your beliefs are what keep you from making new friends, respecting your limits, and trying new things.
This Halloween, we invite you to look those thoughts, fears, and beliefs in the eye. Don’t be afraid. Stare them down! And then understand that you have the power to change them. Mastery of your thoughts is, in fact, where resilience starts.
Not sure how to stare down a thought? Below, we’ve rounded up 24 ways to challenge your thoughts, fears, habits, and beliefs about stress, resilience, and living a healthy life. Take a look and let us know what you won’t be afraid of anymore. Trust us. Against your resilience, these boogeymen don’t stand a chance.
- Dare to imagine yourself healthy and happy. Write a three-sentence description of healthy-and-happy you. Use that vision to motivate you to build resilience.
- Fearlessly ask for what you want. A buddy for lunchtime walks? A cup of tea? Think of one thing that would up your daily resilience—and ask for it.
- Stare down the urge to fix everything. You aren’t responsible for the world. Let others solve problems that really don’t require your help.
- Defy busyness. Schedule exercise into your week. Block out one hour for an activity that simply makes you happy. Trust that getting sleep is better than working late.
- Try a new dish—like fish! Studies show that people who eat fish are less depressed. Love seafood or hate it, try this to get more in your belly.
- Square off with your fear of help. No one thinks less of you for needing a hand. The truth is that vulnerability is a sign of strength.
- Take a stand against aches and pains. Wherever you are—on a plane, at your desk, or waiting in line at the DMV—stand up and stretch. Bonus points if you get strange looks. Try these stretches now.
- Risk rejection. You know what resilient people do? They reach out. Social connections can come from nothing more than a simple chat over coffee.
- Muster the courage to sit still for five minutes. Boom—you’ve just started meditating. Now try this ten-second meditation exercise for an energizing calm.
- Quiet your pessimism. Think of three things you’re grateful for. Gratitude softens your stress and helps you see and enjoy the positive. (Read more on how it works.)
- Resist the urge to cling; be generous. Generosity is a proven stress-buster, especially when you can contribute in a way that’s unique to you.
- Venture out of the familiar. You shake up old habits and mental ruts when you try something new, like dancing, hula hooping, or drinking green tea.
- Thwart your thinking traps. Identify your common thinking traps and learn to escape them. You have more resilience when you’re mind is focused and clear.
- Challenge the power of a bad habit. Don’t totally ditch those bad habits (i.e., dessert in front of the TV). Turn them into a stress-reducing ritual instead.
- Brave your holiday plans early. Thanksgiving is around the corner, so pin down how you’ll make peace with the busyness, sugar, and family issues now.
- Boldly admit you can’t to do everything. Trying to be a superhero? Stop. Embrace your inner Clark Kent (or Diana Prince, for you Wonder Woman fans).
- Fly in the face of self-doubt. Take time to actively scan for the times you’ve done the right thing. And enjoy that feeling of pride.
- Take on (and throw out) stuff you don’t like. The antidote to emotional and literal clutter isn’t to toss everything. It’s to know what brings you joy.
- Face off with your scariest emotion. Big negative emotions (anger, guilt, shame) are clues to your deepest beliefs. Once you know what’s causing your emotional tailspins, you can manage them.
- Spurn the candy bowl. Instead, put out a fruit bowl, right next to the candy corn and lollipops. You won’t be the only one who wants to eat well.
- Call out boredom and burnout. Ask these four questions to reconnect (or connect for the first time) with your job and, well, your life.
- Resist the pull of the couch. Go outside. Take a walk. Even if it’s chilly. Or the TV is calling your name. Or if there are dishes in the sink. Or basement lights to replace. Put on your shoes and go.
- Defeat the critical voice in your head. Does that sweater drape beautifully? Is that blazer a great color on you? Own it. Appreciate it. You look good.
- Bravely put resilience at the top of your list. Everything else benefits when you can not only handle stress, but live a positive, purposeful life throughout it. And you build that resilience step by step, little by little, every single day.
We have so many more activities to help you challenge fears and build resilience. Log into your meQuilibrium program now to find them!