Seven Ways To Hack Your Brain To Be More Resilient

I want to talk here, in my own words based on my experiences, about Resilience. I hope you enjoy it and, truly, I’d like to hear your thoughts!


Resilience is our ability to bounce back from any situation. Being able to maintain a certain state when coping with what life throws at us. We can look to nature for inspiration and motivation. The bamboo bends instead of breaking, the river moves AROUND its obstacles, a pruned tree or plant grows in a different direction…

Resilience is learnt through experiences. You never truly know how you will be until ‘shit hits the fan’ and you’re put to the test.

My story

I have been surprised at my own bounce back. I am currently taking a degree in Astronomy, this is a “hobby” project of mine I started in 2014 to exercise my mind and focus on something completely different to my usual interests (it’s very maths heavy and as a teenager I had to get a tutor to help with my mathematics so I find it a real challenge). So what was my surprise? Well, my grades historically on assignments have been High 1st (A’s for my American readers) and 2:1 (B’s) but in over the last 2 school years I received my first 3rd (D+) on two different assignments. The first time I was shocked! And honestly felt a little sick. How could I have been SO WRONG? But after a quick check to make sure my work hadn’t been mixed up with the monkey’s test, I realised I really was quite wrong.

From this point I stopped myself from going down a rabbit hole of annoyance, frustration and woe-is-me and thought about it fully. I remember telling myself while I was working on these particularly hard pieces of work that “I would be happy to pass” and “I just needed to pass”. Well, I did pass, so what’s my problem? I reminded myself that this IS NOT my area of expertise. I went from disappointed to pretty damn happy in just a short time.

BUT I had to do this thought process multiple times for it to really sink in. Sure, it would have been nicer to get a better grade but… I’m a yoga teacher, not a quantum engineer, for a reason.

I also stopped myself from saying that all annoying “If I had studies more I would have done better.” For me (and for a lot of people) I study as much as I can while avoiding the signs of burnout! I have been burnt out in the past and I won’t go down that path again.

Nothing is worth your health.

No job is worth your health

No grade is worth your health

No amount of productivity is worth your health

Unless you are this close to finding the cure for cancer (or something similar), it’s really not worth it!

The 7 Hacks

Practical Tips for YOU on Building Resilience


Repetition & Thoughts

Maybe you have a personal practice (meditation/yoga) every day. Or the weekly class at the same time with the same teacher. Or perhaps like I had to do, you challenge the persistent voices of negativity by acknowledging them and choosing a different thought. Check your thoughts by asking are my thoughts helping me out of my mental rabbit hole or taking me deeper into it?

The Science


Give yourself challenges!

Meeting small but challenging goals on a regular basis, wakes up the reward centre of the brain, increases confidence in your self and (you guessed it) builds resilience – think cleaning out your closet, drinking enough water, walking a certain amount of steps for a certain amount of time. You choose!


Remember, remember your awesomeness last November!

Reflecting on our own capabilities is key. It will remind you what you can do and give you a little bit more steam in your engine to keep going! There is science behind this one too…


Inner reminders & being present

Big Picture

We sometimes need to take a moment to step back and remind ourselves of the ‘bigger picture’ OR ‘the smaller picture’ depending on the scenario. For my example I needed to remember that I ‘just wanted to pass’ and overall this one grade probably won’t be life changing for me, especially since this is ‘just a hobby’. This is looking at the bigger picture and remembering how I felt before the grade.


Small Picture

If the issue is a bit bigger and harder to explain away, then the opposite can be useful. Focus on the little things in life and be fully present in this moment. The glass of water, the smells, the feeling of the chair. Conjure up imagery that reminds your body that you are safe at this moment. We can develop our own inner catalogue of places, people, or situations that bring us comfort and security. Then, if needed, we can flip through this catalogue in times of stress and dose our minds with the feeling of wellbeing it brings.


How Yoga Helps

Yoga is a metaphor for life that can teach you a lot about how your mind works. For example, it’s easy to be calm and happy when your practice is filled with fluidity, ease, and grace. But what happens when you’re falling all over yourself, or when you’re asked to do something tricky or new? Although it’s the blissful practices that can keep you coming back for more, you may learn more about how you respond to challenges by observing how you react when you’re shaking, wobbling, or stumbling off of your mat.


How Holistic Health Coaching Helps

My Holistic Health Coaching programme guides you through understanding yourself, your changes and fluxes, and how to find a balance with what you love and what you know you need to do. It helps you create your dream life one little step at a time. By asking the right questions on the right topics. Head to this page for more information…

The Neurons Connecting