Founder of The Resilience Project Hugh van Cuylenburg has made it his mission to improve the mental health of Australia’s youth. It’s his belief that resilience evolves from regularly practising empathy, gratitude, mindfulness and self-efficacy. Here, he elaborates on how.
Practise daily acts of kindness on a smaller scale simply by doing something for another person or on a grander scale through volunteering or working with the disengaged or underprivileged. When people act kindly to others, the body releases oxytocin, also known as the happy hormone for its ability to reduce anxiety. Oxytocin is also credited with the ability to heal heart cells damaged by trauma and stress.
Practice gratitude in the form of a gratitude journal by noticing and noting down the things you are grateful for on a daily basis. Recording what you are grateful for on a daily basis rewires the brain to scan the world for positives empowering people to be able to deal with life’s negatives.
Cultivate a daily meditation practice. Meditation slows down the brain and enables people to be present and focused.
A new pillar to the resilience building-program, self-efficacy is the ability to identify and harness one’s character strengths for team-building and personal development.