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Stress and resilience

Two for You — take two minutes to live and lead with intention

Episode 4.5

“Someone asked me, ‘Aren’t you worried about the state of the world?’ I allowed myself to breathe and then I said, ‘What is most important is not to allow your anxiety about what happens in the world to fill your heart. If your heart is filled with anxiety, you will get sick, and you will not be able to help.’”

- Thich Nhat Hanh

In this episode of Two for You: Stress and Resilience, we share ways you can increase your resilience during times of stress.



Note: Two for You written transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before referencing content in print.

[Lori] Hello and welcome to Two for You. Today we're bringing to you some tips and tools around stress and resilience. So resilience, what is it?

So resilience is about being able to really hold negativity and positivity side by side. So we all have a lot going on and even when we have a lot of stressful things in our lives and also positive things going on as well.

And people who are able to - who are more resilient are really able to hold those together. And worry less, rebound quicker to move through the experience, and are more mindful in the moment.

[Denise] And the reasons that they can do that is because they have what's called a high vagal tone. And what that is it talks about the functioning of your vagus nerve which is the nerve that connects your brain down to your heart to your digestive system and other important organs.

It's basically a feedback loop. And so if you can keep that feedback loop functioning at a high level then you're not going to have those really negative dips and then high highs. It's going to keep you at a nice level so when you do have a negative situation or stressful situation you don't drop very low and you don't have to rebound very high.

So the vagal tone great feedback loop for for assessing your stress and resilience.

[Lori] All right, so now some some tips, right. So the first thing we have is called four square or four square breathing, right. And we use this a lot even our teaching.  We have groups kind of go through it together.

So here we're gonna do it, and really lean in if you feel free to practice with us, And as we do we're gonna kind of picture a square in our mind as we go through, right.

So for the first one we just breathe in a deep breath for four seconds. And hold for four. Release for four and hold for four. And that's it four square breathing, right. It really helps to engage the vagus nerve by taking that deep breath.

[Denise] Another thing that you can do is take advantage of nature. If you can take a walk, get outside, let your body actually relax into the environment that it's in, it will help you with your resilience.

And if you can't get outside simply go stand by a window turn your chair towards a window and really soak in the benefits that nature has to offer.

[Lori] So there you go, some research and tips around stress and resilience for you as you live and lead with intention.

Authors: Lori Rothstein and Denise Stromme, former Extension educators

Reviewed in 2020

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