The pace of change in modern society can feel overwhelming at times. The resulting stress can affect your life and your health. Unless of course, you arm yourself with some savvy and simple strategies to create real resilience.
Very often, it’s not until life throws us a curveball that we go in search of answers. Like Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer and author of Lean In. Following the sudden death of her husband, she went in search of tools to help her better handle her grief and pain. When I was embarking on a career change, stressed out of mind, suffering shingles, I devoured every book and every strategy which could help me not only survive but thrive. I share many of these tools in my books, including Stress Less, Mid-Life Career Rescue and Bounce.
Kristina Mastrocola, an editor with Woman’s World magazine in the States with a circulation of over 1.6 million readers, writes a weekly feature called “Ask the Ultimate Experts.” She regularly asks experts at the top of their respective fields for their tips and advice on everything from how to keep your brain young to how to lower your medical bills.
Kristina is writing about surprising ways to help readers reduce the high cost of medical care—something I am personally and professionally passionate about. So, I was thrilled to hear from her. She came across my book Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy on Amazon and said she would love to share a few of my tips and insights with her readers.
The article is due to hit stands in the States soon – the 8th of March. If you live in the States you may love to grab a copy—it will only be available in glossy print (not on the Web). For those readers not in the US Kristina has generously offered to provide a PDF I can share on my website. I’ll keep you posted!
Dictionary.com describes ‘bounce’ as springing back from a surface in a lively manner.
This quality of liveliness, exuberance, and energy is important to keep in mind. The ability to rebound from setbacks, to possess resilience and maintain positive energy, even in the face of calamity, will not just help you survive but, importantly, to thrive in the face of setbacks.
Below are a few other words which encompass the term ‘bounce’. You may wish to consider using a few of these in your everyday conversations, to thus adding some pizazz to your day. Or perhaps you may try walking with more exuberance! That could be fun.
• Bounce off
Whatever is causing you worry or distress, developing a bounce mindset, and increasing your coping skills, will help you reclaim your power and reboot your life.
Bounce your way to happiness. Bounce your way to success. Bounce your way to health… whatever you do, don’t stand still.
Resilience in action is the ability to spring back to health and readily recover from illness, depression, and adversity. Bouncing back from setbacks is a critical determinant of success in business and life.
Resilience is that indefinable quality that allows some people to be bowled over by life and re-emerge stronger than ever. Rather than letting setbacks overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes.
Psychologists have identified some of the factors that will make you more resilient, among them a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback.
By strengthening your inner power, your ability to handle stressful situations, and your skill in persevering after setbacks threaten to fell you, you’ll develop real resilience—you’ll develop grit.
Grit comes in many shapes and sizes: courage, bravery, pluck, mettle, backbone, spirit, steel nerve, resolve, determination, endurance, guts, spunk, tenacity—and the strength of vulnerability. Add the flexibility and determination of resilience and you’ll have a powerful bounce strategy.
Life will keep throwing you curveballs—it may even, at times, drown you in a deluge of seemingly never-ending hassles—family dramas, environmental mayhem, world aﬀairs, or some other toxin.
Many of the strategies I’ll share with you in this book will help you develop a resilient mindset and with it more staying power, passion, perseverance, and grit.
Mindfulness techniques, avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, keeping your thoughts positive, surrounding yourself with a vibe tribe of positive supporters, getting rid of toxicity (friends, family, or stinkin’ thinkin’), meditating, exercise, reprogramming your subconscious beliefs, and other strategies are just some of the things you’ll learn in Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.
It’s not easy to overcome many of the things that hold you back. But you can do it—if you’re willing to be strong and fight for your dreams. Within many of us lies an innate seam of strength, which, when mined skilfully, will produce an endless source of pure gold.
As Buddha once said, “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”
When you seize the reins of control and take responsibility, you will empower your life, your joy, and your prosperity.
Creating a beautiful mind is one of the most important and effective places you can empower with more bounce.
Your mind is so incredibly vital to the success or failure of virtually everything you do, from relationships, health, work, and finances to overall happiness.
Thoughts do become things, and your body experiences what the mind believes. This is why challenging and conquering your fears and mistaken beliefs is so important.
Happily, you can trick your mind into gravitating towards what you want and away from what you don’t.
“I have learned how to deceive people into health for their benefit. Doctors can kill or cure with ‘wordswordswords’ when they become ‘swordswordswords.’ We all have the potential for self-induced healing built into us. The key is to know how to achieve your potential,” says Bernie Siegel, M.D., author of A Book of Miracles and The Art of Healing.
Many of the things that influence your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are invisible; a great many lurk in the realm of the subconscious mind.
The function of your subconscious mind is to store and retrieve data. Its job is to ensure that you respond exactly the way you are programmed.
“By the time you reach the age of 21, you’ve already permanently stored more than one hundred times the contents of the entire Encyclopedia Britannica,” says motivational writer Brian Tracey.
And much of this information is rubbish, false, incomplete, or obsolete.
Your subconscious mind is like a huge memory bank. Its capacity is virtually unlimited. It permanently stores everything that ever happens to you. What is limited is your ability to consciously recall many of the scripts programmed into your mind.
You may not even be aware of limiting beliefs that are holding you back. Boosting your self-awareness will change that, coupled with a willingness to grow.
One of the most important things you can commit to realizing is that you exist in more than the physical world. The mental world, the emotional world, and the spiritual world all exert a powerful influence over you—whether you are consciously tapping into them or not.
“What most people never realize is that the physical realm is merely a ‘printout’ of the other three,” writes T. Harv Eker.
Any limiting and unhelpful beliefs or repressed experiences preventing you from becoming a prosperous author cannot be changed in the physical world. They can only be changed in the “program”—the mental, emotional, and spiritual worlds.
Which is why Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy takes a holistic approach to health and happiness. Passion, joy, faith, prayer, meditation, courage, dreams, purpose, and mindfulness practices are some of the strategies we’ll discuss in this book.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama once said, “Negative thoughts are like weeds, but positive thoughts are like flowers—they need nurturing every day.”
Leonardo da Vinci proactively fertilized his mind and empowered his resolve by focusing on his dreams, goals, and aspirations.
“You cannot help being good, because your hand and your mind, being accustomed to gather flowers would ill know how to pluck thorns,” he once wrote.
To steady himself against self-doubt or the attacks of others, he actively cultivated a bounce mindset by using aﬃrmations, journaling, meditating, channeling and accessing the spiritual realms, and surrounding himself with like-minded, aspirational and inspirational people. By doing so, he developed grit and the ability to bounce back from extreme adversity.
If you actively cultivate a success mindset you automatically increase your ability to bounce because your mind will create a barrier to discouragement. This helps bounce back the thorns of self-doubt, procrastination, fear, and any of the other things toxic to your happiness and success.
Oprah once said that one of the best ways to cultivate a success mindset is to think like a queen: “A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.”
Similarly, J.K. Rowling encourages making failure part of your bounce strategy. “Failure is inevitable—make it a strength,” she says. We’ll dive deeper into how to fear less and bounce back from failure later in this book.
For now, impress this upon your mind—attitude is everything. As Buddhists say, life is suffering—it’s how you react to life that counts. “With our thoughts, we make the world,” Buddha once said.
Think royal—cultivate a success mindset and bounce through life like a king or queen.
Pursue your dreams with the tenacity of a terrier chasing a ball. Create an inspired intention that would fill you with joy when it’s achieved.
It doesn’t have to be grandiose, it may be as simple as losing excess weight that’s dragging you down, taking up an interesting hobby, or asking someone out on a date.
Perhaps, it’s having the courage to quit a job you hate and find one you love before it’s too late. Or, following your heart’s desire and starting a purpose-driven business.
Are you lonely? Would a wonderful win be the willingness to be vulnerable and open your heart to love again?
What matters is that your intention is meaningful and will have a tangible impact on your life. It’s something you feel you’d get a lift from saying, “I did that. I did the thing I never thought I could.”
Or perhaps, it’s proving others’ limited expectations of you to be wrong.
If you’re unfamiliar with setting inspired intentions here’s a simple strategy to help you WIN:
W—What do you want to achieve? Be specific. Make your inspired intention concrete so you can almost see, touch, taste, feel, hear it as being your reality now.
I—Inspiration? What’s motivating and inspiring you to win? List as many benefits which will flow when you’ve achieved your inspired intention
N—Needs. What are the next steps? What do you need to do or put in place to win? What’s your success strategy to ensure you stay on track?
S—Sweet success. What riches or rewards will you reap when you’ve achieved your inspired intention? Reward yourself with a treat each time you achieve something significant on your journey to success. Dangle a grand prize in front of your nose that will further motivate you to persevere.
I’ve found this simple strategy really helps me create and sustain my bounce. Give it a go and see if it helps you achieve exceptional results too.
Empower your intentions by writing them down, creating a vision board and reviewing your intentions daily. Consider creating a Passion Journal to boost your bounce and manifest your intentions. You’ll find some helpful tips in the last chapter of this book.
Don’t be afraid to bounce too high. Amplify your feelings of satisfaction and success by dreaming big, achieving something audacious and lifting your sights even higher.
“Dream big,” encourages James Patterson, currently the bestselling author in the world. “Don’t set out to write a good thriller. Set out to write a #1 thriller.”
Patterson, whose father was raised in a poorhouse, knows the power of big dreams and passionate perseverance. His first book was turned down by 21 publishers and won The Edgar for Best First Mystery. He also quit a lucrative legal career because it didn’t make him bounce.
Given that science has barely even begun to explore the real potential of the human mind, it’s a funny thing how easily we persuade ourselves of its limitations and settle for less.
You’ve probably caught yourself thinking about a big dream, some inspired course of action, and at some point talked yourself down by saying, “I could never do that!”
Or perhaps you’ve come up with a bright idea about something and then shelved it because somebody said dismissively, “You can’t do that!” or “That’s crap.”
Or perhaps, as I have so often said to myself before reconnecting with my millionaire mindset, “I can’t do this. I can’t write this book. It’s too big. Who do I think I am trying to write such a complex book?”
But how do you really know what you are capable of unless you try?
Paulo Coehlo, the author of The Alchemist, once said: “Know what you want and try to go beyond your own expectations. Improve your dancing, practice a lot, and set a very high goal, one that will be difficult to achieve. Because that is an artist’s million: to go beyond one’s limits. An artist who desires very little and achieves it has failed in life.”
Thinking big demands a long step outside the comfort zone of what you know.
It can feel scary to contemplate stepping out of the space where you feel you know what you’re doing and you feel fully in control.
It can feel frightening to explore what it would be like if you were to leave the comfort rut and attempt to climb toward a new summit. You don’t know for sure where it will lead. But everyone who’s ever made a success of anything started with a big dream.
And you can, too.
Tim Ferris dreams big by adopting and cherishing his beginner’s mind. Rather than succumb to the fear of failure, he changes his mindset, and affirms his love of variety and challenge and being a perpetual debutante.
“Think small, to go big” encourages Gary Keller in his book The One Thing. “Going small” is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do.
“It’s recognizing that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter most. It’s a tighter way to connect what you do with what you want. It’s realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make a focus.”
When you think too big, achieving success can feel overwhelming, time-consuming, and complicated. Calendars can become overloaded and success starts to feel out of reach. So, people opt out and either quit or settle for less.
“Unaware that big success comes when we do a few things well, they get lost trying to do too much, and in the end, accomplish too little,” says Keller.
“Over time they lower their expectations, abandon their dreams, and allow their life to get small. This is the wrong thing to make small.”
Every extraordinary achievement starts as someone’s daydream. Dream big, become audaciously obsessed, and fuel your verve—pursue the vision that sparkles and get ready to bounce!
Listed below are some helpful reminders of some of the many holistic coping strategies you can call upon during times of current or anticipated need.
• Learn to listen to your body
• Adequate exercise
• Physical touch/massage
• Muscle relaxation
• Relaxation breathing
• A healthy diet, i.e. reducing stimulants (coffee, nicotine etc.), increasing water, and eating organic non-processed foods
• Balanced lifestyle
• Support groups / Counseling
• Sharing with friends and family
• New interests / activities
• Taking time out
• Music / dancing / singing/creative expression
• Being proactive and taking control of the situation
• Change careers
• Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption
• Making time to do nothing at all
Cognitive / Perceptual (thinking)
• Rational thinking techniques to help change the way you interpret the stressful situation
• Positive thinking/cultivating optimism
• Self-assertion training
• Personal development
• Building self-esteem
• Realistic goal planning
• Time management
• Learning to say “No”
• Priority clarification
• Releasing emotions and expressing feelings (laugh, talk, cry, write in a journal, paint etc.)
• Learning how to “switch off”
• Taking time out
• Solitude and space
• Counseling and support
• Challenging your emotional reactions to situations
• Scheduling time to spend with important people in your life
• Making plans with friends, family and loved ones in advance
• Sharing your experiences of stress with certain people in your life, especially letting them know the ways that stress has been affecting you, so they understand
• Practicing assertive communication within your significant relationships to decrease conflicts, while also continuing to find ways to show people around you that they are important
• Prayer and mediation—scheduling regular time
• Helping others (talking, writing, supporting)
• Reiki and other energy healing techniques
• Talking with a spiritual confidant or leader to explain any spiritual issues or doubts that you may have encountered
• Forgiveness (of self or others)
• Compassion / loving kindness
• Continuing to read and learn about your faith, belief or value system
• Connecting with others who share your beliefs
“Gently, conversationally, and with humor, Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy offers strategies for seeing and thinking differently. For many people the approach is nothing less than transformational.”
~ Lawrence Ford
“I wouldn’t typically use the phrase “something for everybody” in reference to a book, but in this case, the description is apt. Each chapter is like a loving permission slip, and readers will be pulled to the ones they most need to receive. With titles like “Unplug,” “Laugh and Play,” “Massage,” and “Mood Food” the reader receives compelling reasons—followed by implementable steps—for acting on the self-care impulses that most of us dismiss daily. The author’s conversational style makes for easy reading. I am a life coach, and I just added this book to my suggested reading list for my clients.”
~ Sheree Clark, Healthy Living Coach
“While reading BOUNCE I felt that Cassandra had a unique ability to see deep inside me. She met me at where my fears reside, identified with the sources of my stress, and gently challenged me to break free and move through by providing a range of holistic and science-based tools. I especially loved the broad range of tools she covered – from east to west, and esoteric to scientific.
“Cassandra’s own explorations are evident in how she connects with the reader. Concepts like I’m broke, I’m lonely, I want to succeed. An easy read chokka full of useful tips for gaining control over your body’s reaction to stress. I especially loved the concept of making a list of ‘What Not to Do’ and developing a ‘Miracle Morning Routine’.
“Loved the fact it is an easy read and is so incredibly comprehensive in its spectrum of tools covered: eastern and western/physical and psychological/science and esoteric. It’s hard to find books that capture this in one space–a comprehensive manual containing a tasting platter of techniques.”
~ Tina Drummond, Health and Safety Consultant, Wellness Motivator
“Cassandra has mastered the art of speaking in clear and simple terms and has presented Bounce as an easy to read, concise—yet completely comprehensive guide to overcoming all the obstacles that stand between yourself and your passion. She has taken a truly holistic approach and leaves no stone unturned. She lays out all the facets of overcoming your obstacles in a no-nonsense fashion and covers everything … Mind, body and soul … the physical, the spiritual, and the scientific. She evens touches on topics that may be considered ‘airy-fairy’ with believable and inspiring confidence.
While Bounce is a concise presentation, do not be fooled by its quick two-hour read, it is incredibly comprehensive astoundingly holistic—and effective.I have been working on a website project for most of this year and over the last couple of months I have been saying that I am almost ready to get on with it, but I keep finding obstacles and excuses to not get real with it. These obstacles and excuses simply amount to allowing myself to listen to the voices of self-doubt that choose to argue in my head. But within days of finishing reading Bounce I now have secured my domain name, have my draft website ready to go and I now know that I will be launching it before the end of the year–maybe even within the next few days. As well as being inspiring, motivating and confidence building, Bounce also comes with useful activities and numerous helpful resources to assist you to overcome your obstacles and follow your passion. Cassandra definitely holds your hand but ultimately it is finally up to you to take action. I did, will you?”
~ Niki Firth, Amazon Review
“Bounce is like a pocket-sized life support that adds a little fun and magic to the experience. Cassandra Gaisford packs a lot of helpful, useful and thoughtful information into this book. Each chapter is sort and the reader can dip in as the mood takes them and find a gem at every stop. One of the many practical strategies I am implementing as a result of reading Bounce is removing all technology from my bedroom. This is a habit born 10 years ago when I was desperate for distraction every minute of my waking day. This is a challenge I am going to rise to.
~ Catherine Sloan, Counselor
“Bounce captures a whole range of meaningful topics, tips and strategies relating to empowering the reader to overcome obstacles build resilience and find their own joy. Simple and transformational … a personal bible for living ones best life! Cassandra gently supports the reader to ‘re-programme’ their own values and beliefs, creating new habitual ways of thinking from a default mode of operation. A powerful book for every bedside table!”
~ Heather Dodge, Founder and Program Director of Kaleidoscope Solutions
“Bounce does not disappoint! It was just the turning point, and encouragement I needed.”
~ Jane K, Amazon review
Integrating groundbreaking research, neuroscience, cognitive therapy, proven tools and teachings, in this deeply personal book, Cassandra talks candidly about her own challenges with controlling alcohol. Drawing on Eastern and Western approaches to help people suffering from alcohol dependence and addiction, Cassandra shows us how to cut back or quit drinking entirely without becoming a hermit, being ostracized, or cutting back on an enjoyable social life.
“I really like the approach that this book takes in not attempting to stop drinking totally. It instead explains and coaches how to manage and cope with consuming alcohol so that the damaging effects may be minimised. This is a very useful supportive book for ‘drinkers’ and their families.”
PHILIPE EYTON, Counsellor, Life and Leadership Coach
“This book gave me so much hope and provided so many resources that I can’t wait to start researching them all! This is one of the best books I’ve read on this subject and the approach is so refreshing. I highly recommend it to all!”
LISA, 5 Star Amazon Review
Your Beautiful Mind: Control Alcohol and Love Life More: Discover Freedom, Find Happiness & Change Your Life
Anyone who needs to be kept on track or inspired to kick the drink habit and commit to living sober will find genuine help in this refreshingly insightful and solution-focused book.
“For readers who sincerely want to stop or rescue their drinking, but struggle to quit the drink habit, this book will pave the way.”
I am an artist, storyteller, intuitive guide, mentor and Reiki master. All my creations are infused with positive energy , inspiration, and light. I believe in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform your life. My greatest joy is helping your realize your dreams. That makes my soul sing!
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