SEVEN WAYS TO SPRING BACK
It is evening and I am sitting at my computer writing this article with the window open and a slight breeze brushing against my left cheek. The cool air is infused with jasmine and blossoming flowers from the fruit trees in my garden; it’s intoxicating. Spring is in the air and she excites our senses with the busy blossoming taking place all over the city. What an apt reminder, especially during these difficult times, of the opportunity to renew, recreate and replenish ourselves.
As actors, making resilience a priority is necessary in order to create stamina. You must learn to endure the tough road of disappointment, competition, and rejection. Cultivating the ability to bounce back and not take it all personally will help you to protect your unique talents from gradually being chipped away. Resilience is an investment that is worth every amount of effort because it is what you will need along with your acting classes, networking ability and marketing skills in order to stay in the game. If you’re into sports, think long distance runner not sprinter. When you have resilience, you harness inner strengths and rebound more quickly from a setback or a challenge.
Here are seven seeds worth planting:
- Keep things in perspective. Even when facing painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Avoid blowing the event out of proportion.
- Accept change as part of life. Accepting situations that you cannot change can help free you up to focus on those situations that you do have the ability to change. Is there something you need to let go of in order to move on?
- Seek positive people who inspire you. Negative people drain your energy and can leave you feeling empty and depressed. Find friends that are uplifting and have positive energy. Enthusiasm is contagious and can bring out the best in you.
- Create optimistic realism. “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” –William Arthur Ward. Develop the ability to size up your situation while staying open to positive possibilities.
- Practice compassion and generosity. Positive emotions are evoked when helping others. Did you know that acts of kindness reduce physical pain by releasing endorphins (pain-killing molecules manufactured by your brain)?
- Be aware of your thoughts. Are you self-sabotaging by having an inner dialogue which is critical and judgmental, or are you kind to yourself? Remember everything starts with a thought, where are your thoughts taking you?
- Learn to laugh more. Empirical research shows that laughter has healthful effects. It can increase the heart rate, improve blood circulation, work muscles all over the body, release endorphins (remember those natural painkillers) and protect one against depression. No kidding.
There are many other ways to create resilience in addition to the seven I mentioned (i.e.: exercise, spirituality, healthy, loving relationships). Think about which seeds of resilience you can start planting this Spring. In the beautiful words of Marcel Proust, “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Share your ideas of resilience, email me.
Bonnie Katz is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice. One of her specialties is working with artists in the Entertainment Industry. Her skills and training as a psychotherapist and mindful meditator enable her to work with clients in an atmosphere of warmth and understanding. For more information on Bonnie’s psychotherapy practice,visit her website.Follow her on Twitter and Facebook
Conscious Actor articles are not a substitution for professional psychotherapy.