Note: This is my very first Vlog post. I supplemented an earlier post with a new 3 minute video presentation. I have lots to learn for sure. But it sure feels good to jump outside my comfort zone!
– Energy of Thriving
- A good night’s sleep.
- Healthy food.
- Clean air to breathe.
– Foundation of Thriving
- Survival Skills.
- Safe place to live.
– Nourishment of Thriving
- Supportive relationships.
- Loving family and friends.
- Encouraging coworkers.
– Enrichment of Thriving
- Education and learning.
- Goals and ambition.
- Stretching outside comfort zone.
– Ultimate Thriving
- Purpose and Vision.
- Achievement of Life Mission.
- Self Actualization of Dreams.
Belief plays a pivotal role in resilience.
Believing that you have what it takes.
Believing that you can try again.
Believing in something greater than yourself.
Believing you are never alone.
Believing your power is greater than your pain.
Believing that things are going to get easier.
This 1 minute video encapsulates it all.
What beliefs help you overcome challenges?
Good news to share!
I have been working on a TEDx project with the University of Windsor TEDx team since last year. And just an hour ago, I received the good news that the finished video was uploaded to the official TEDx site today! So pumped!
The purpose of this talk and my blog is to help students develop positive coping techniques in fun, interactive, and uplifting ways.
May Your North Star Light Your Way. 💫
“Don’t tell people your dreams. Show them.”
I am excited to share an interview, photos, and a short video clip from yesterday’s TEDx Event at the University of Windsor. It was one of the most positive speaking experiences I’ve ever had. Truly magical.
TEDx Dream Team
Thank you for letting me share my dream of being on the TEDx stage! The official TEDx video will be posted soon. 🎥
Related Post: How I prepared my TEDx Speech.
I have some exciting news to share! I was recently chosen to be a TEDx speaker for the University of Windsor TEDx Event on Sunday, January 28, 2018.
The theme of the event is “Diamonds from Pressure”. Which fits in beautifully with my psychology blog — Thriving Under Pressure.
What are TEDx Talks?
“A TEDx event is an independently operated, community driven event. The talks are no more than 18 minutes in length, are idea-focused, and cover a wide range of subjects to foster learning, inspiration and wonder – and provoke conversations that matter.” Source: Ted.com
TEDx Preparation in Six Steps
The process of preparing a TEDx Talk has been quite different from any other keynote or seminar I have given. I have maximum 18 minutes to convey an original idea. So I have no choice but to get right to the point. Which is a very good thing!
Step 1: Create an Outline
In developing my speech, the first thing I did was create a storyboard for my TEDx script. (see below) I set it up like scenes in a movie. 5 scenes. 3-4 minutes per idea. 🎥
The purpose of my TEDx Talk is to help people thrive on their journey from stress to strength.
Step 2: Let Your Ideas Flow
This is where you let your imagination run free. Luckily inspiration flowed in from everywhere! So much so that while at the movies last month, I was struck by an idea with only a movie napkin nearby. So I did what all writers do, I wrote on whatever material I could find. Hoping to capture one fleeting burst of insight.
Step 3: Edit TEDx Script
In case you’re wondering, there are approximately 2500 words in an 18 minute TEDx speech. Thus I have been equally busy downsizing, condensing, and editing my script. Focus is the goal. Less is more!
Step 4: Rehearse Rehearse Rehearse
Practice your TEDx speech as often as you can. In the mirror. On your run. In the car. At the mall. In front of anyone who is willing to listen. Stay open to feedback. As much as you can. Record yourself and listen back. This is especially important for hitting the 18 minute time limit. I used an audio to text dictation iPhone app called TEMI that helped tremendously.
Step 5: Take a TEDx Break
Now complete, it’s time to rest and enjoy some”Breathing Space“. As unrelenting work rarely fosters positive energy. Best to gear down before gearing up for the big TEDx day. Sign me up for a movie night, a kickboxing session, and a homemade dinner. Doctor’s orders. ♥
Step 6: Test out TEDx Red Carpet
TEDx Diamonds from Pressure is just 10 days away. The outline, the structure, and the body of TEDx complete. The stories worked out. The edits made. Just one last dress rehearsal on the TEDx stage!
Hope to see you all January 28 2018!
TEDx Tickets + Information
In March, I will post the official TEDx Video! 🎥
Most people wince every time they hear the word “stress”.
It’s as if the whole world has been conditioned to respond to stress the same way, by word alone. A habitual thought response that is often more dangerous than the stressor itself.
What you believe matters.
The latest research in psychology examines stress in an entirely new way.
Rather than viewing stress as unequivocally bad for one’s health, health psychologists pinpoint belief systems as the moderating variable between stress and biology.
Stress perception ↔ Health benefits
“Embracing meaning is more important than reducing discomfort according to Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal. Stress can make us stronger, smarter and happier — if we learn how to open our minds to it.” Source: Stanford News
Which is one of many reasons why I love Dr. McGonigal’s TED Talk. She encourages us to think about stress in a whole new empowering way. With an emphasis on growth, purpose, and meaning over needless suffering.
Mindset is everything.
Using health psychology research, Dr. McGonigal reveals how perceiving stress as either positive or negative can have a “live or die” impact on individual stress response.
Change your thoughts. Change your stress response.
- Believe that stress is good for you (eg., stress heightens awareness) and you live longer.
- Alternatively, believe that stress is bad for you (eg., stress causes heart attacks) and you die sooner.
But don’t take my word for it.
You need to experience your own “Aha Moment” firsthand.
How to make stress your friend.
In the video below, Dr. McGonigal illustrates the many upsides of stress, including help seeking behaviour, increased energy, and robust health. She also backs up her stress positive claims with census records and comprehensive health research.
Hope you enjoy these fresh, new ideas about stress as much as I do!
“Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive.” Source: TED Talks
Helpful resources for adopting a resilience mindset:
- How to Turn Stress into an Asset by Amy Gallow
- Cognitive Reframing and Stress Management by Liz Scott
- Six Ways to Do Cognitive Restructuring by Dr. Alice Boyes
- Reducing Stress by Changing Your Thinking by Mind Tools
- Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life by Dr. Wayne Dyer
- The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good by Kelly McGonigal
Related Post: Stress resilience at school.
Understanding Individual Differences
Have you ever wondered how your best friend lives so freely “moment-to-moment” while your mind is imprisoned by thoughts of past events and/or planning of future events (so neatly) written in your (overly structured) daytimer?
Brain Hemispheric Specialization provides insight into why some of us are more present focused and able to “go with the flow” (Right Brain dominant); while others are busy planning their days with the step-by-step precision of a NASA engineer (Left Brain dominant).
Your Brain and Behaviour
Despite being identical in structure, the two halves of the brain specialize in how they process information (e.g., Past vs. Present), and how they function (e.g., Verbal vs. Nonverbal).
Time Processing: Past vs. Present
- Left hemisphere – processes information sequentially, one bit at a time
- Right hemisphere – processes information globally, considering it as a whole
Brain Functions: Linguistic vs. Spatial
- Left hemisphere – includes verbal tasks, such as speaking, reading, thinking, and reasoning.
- Right hemisphere – includes nonverbal areas such as the understanding of spatial relationships, recognition of patterns and drawings, music, and emotional expression.
Neuroscience in Your Life
- Complete the Left/Right Brain Dominance Test to find out which brain hemisphere currently dominates your life.
- Personally, I obtained a score of 10 on this test – indicating that I am equally Left and Right Brained.
- Which didn’t surprise me as I often “lay the table” with outlines, organizers, etc. (Left Brain) and the moment I feel safe, grounded, and prepared, I sit back and watch the ideas fly! (Right Brain)
- What about you? How did you score on the Left/Right Brain Dominance Test? Was it what you expected? Were the results consistent with how you live your life? Did you learn something new about yourself?
- Personally, I obtained a score of 10 on this test – indicating that I am equally Left and Right Brained.
2. Watch the following 20 minute video to: a) learn firsthand about L-R brain specialization and b) discover how Neuroscientist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor turned her real-life tragedy into an awe inspiring “Stroke of Insight“. I am still moved to tears by her story! I hope you are too. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is resilience personified.
The more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemisphere, the more peaceful our planet will be. Jill Bolte Taylor
Psychology Class ↔ Psychology Blog
This post is a summary of this week’s psychology lecture and Chapter 2 of my psychology textbook. If you want to learn more, you can download a free PDF of my neuroscience and behaviour chapter by clicking on this link.
What side of the brain do you live on?
How can two people experience the same stressful event and react in incredibly different ways? What explains the difference between stress thrivers and non-thrivers?
“Resilience is what gives people the psychological strength to cope with stress. They understand that setbacks happen and sometimes life is hard and painful. They still experience the emotional pain, grief, and sense of loss that comes after a tragedy, but their mental outlook allows them to work through such feelings and recover.” Source: Living Well
Building Stress Resilience
Stress hardiness is a pathway to resilience – the ability to remain healthy and strong during stressful and challenging times.
Hardy individuals transform stressful circumstances into growth opportunities by reframing adversity and taking direct action in response to stress.
Bouncing Back from Adversity
– Focusing on the things you can change and letting go of the things you can’t.
E.g., “You hold the key.”
– Reframing stressful challenges as opportunities for growth.
E.g., “Strength Training.”
– Envisioning a higher purpose above and beyond the immediate stressor.
E.g., “Ask yourself why you started.”
Each component a critical factor in cultivating the ability to bounce back and thrive under pressure.
Can Stress Hardiness be Learned?
Yes! Research demonstrates that not only can stress hardiness be learned, it has wide-ranging applications in health and wellness, including:
1. Lowering test anxiety in high school students.
2. Reducing perceived stress in college students.
3. Protecting against war-related stress in Army Reserve forces.
4. Improving resilience and coping skills in stressed out professionals.
Related Post: What's your stress threshold?