Each of us is more resilient than we realize. In the face of turbulence, we have the ability to anticipate risk, limit impact, and bounce back rapidly through survival and adaptability. We also have the ability to tap into and reset the natural balance of our nervous system. 

One tool that harnesses the body’s innate ability to override reactions to fear and threat is called “resourcing”— anything that helps us feel better or provides comfort. An internal resource is something positive inside of us such as a talent, a trait, or ability. An external resource is something outside of us such as a loved one, a place, a memory, or a pet. Resourcing puts the brakes on our fight-or-flight response and shifts us into a rest-or-digest state. 

The first step is to bring to mind something that sustains and nurtures you — a positive memory, a person, place, pet, or spiritual guide. Or a talent or trait inside that you value. Ten redirect your attention to the accompanying pleasant or calming sensations felt inside, and focus on those sensations for a minute or two. 

Today’s Takeaway 

In turbulent times, you can reset your nervous system by:

1.) Bringing to mind a person, place, pet, or strong personal quality that gives you strength or joy.

2.) Holding that resource in your mind’s eye while paying attention to the pleasant sensations.

3.) Noticing your slowed breath, heart rate, and muscle tension.

Take the Risk to Bloom

Although growth can be painful (that’s why we call them growing pains), it can be even more painful to remain tight in our little security holes. Taking the risk to bloom determines whether we become the writers we want to be and whether we attain the things of value and achieve the goals we set. 

Even in distressful times when we come short of our writing goals, we must refuse to view risk and effort as actions that might reveal our inadequacies or show that we’re not up to the task. We continue to take risks, confront challenges, and keep working at our craft. Instead of hiding our deficiencies, we identify and overcome them.

Excerpt from Daily Writing Resilience by Bryan E. Robinson, PhD, with permission from the author and publisher.

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  • Bryan Robinson, Ph.D.

    Psychotherapist in Private Practice and Author of 40 books.

    Bryan Robinson, Ph.D. is a professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, psychotherapist in private practice, and award-winning author of two novels and 40 nonfiction books that have been translated into 15 languages. His latest book is THE LIZARD BRAIN SURVIVAL GUIDE: HOW TO KEEP YOUR COOL WHEN THINGS DON’T GO YOUR WAY. Previous books include #CHILL: TURN OFF YOUR JOB AND TURN ON YOUR LIFE (William Morrow), DAILY WRITING RESILIENCE: 365 MEDITATIONS & INSPIRATIONS FOR WRITERS (Llewellyn Worldwide)and CHAINED TO THE DESK: A GUIDEBOOK FOR WORKAHOLICS, THEIR PARTNERS AND CHILDREN, AND THE CLINICIANS WHO TREAT THEM (New York University Press)He is a regular contributor to Forbes.com, Psychology Today, and Thrive Global. He has appeared on 20/20, Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, ABC's World News Tonight, NPR’s Marketplace, NBC Nightly News and he hosted the PBS documentary "Overdoing It: How To Slow Down And Take Care Of Yourself." www.bryanrobinsonbooks.com.