GREAT HEALTH: Bullying – Your New Future Part 3 | Great Health Guide
GREAT HEALTH: Bullying – Your New Future Part 3

GREAT HEALTH: Bullying – Your New Future Part 3

‘Bullying – Your New Future Part 3’ by Suzanne Henwood published in the upcoming Great Health Guide (July 2016). In the previous two articles, Suzanne touched upon recognising bullying & preventing/stopping it from occurring. In her final article, she discusses how you can get back your confidence after being bullied.
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GREAT HEALTH: Bullying – Your New Future Part 3

written by Dr. Suzanne Henwood

The previous two articles in Great Health GuideTM have explored what bullying is. These articles offered three simple steps to draw a line in the sand on bullying and to help you to take a new direction forward, where you respect and love yourself anew. In this final article we will look at three more steps to enable you to generate your own light and let it shine back out into the world around you.

Step 1 – Breathe – take a breath and stop – then slide into balanced breathing

Breathing is the key when you become aware of feeling stressed. Pay attention to your breathing. Breathe in slowly and deeply, ensuring your abdomen is soft, which lowers the diaphragm as you breathe in, so that the abdomen pushes out. Then push a really long breath out, being aware of the feel and sound of your breath as it releases all tension and negativity with it. Do that again. Then move into an even, deep breathing pattern of 6 seconds in and 6 seconds out. This will begin to reduce the effect of cortisol, one of your stress hormones, so that you can decide more wisely and compassionately how you want to respond. 

This works even more powerfully if you also consciously imagine a strong positive emotion, which you can physically feel, into the area around your heart. Then as you do your rhythmic breathing, consider feeling the emotions of gratitude, appreciation or compassion as you breathe. Notice how your system relaxes.

This style of Coherent Breathing has huge health benefits when introduced as a daily habit. So if you are serious about minimising the impact of bullying on your health, adopt this today. A few minutes, even as few as 3, has effects that lasts for hours. Commit to adopt periods of rhythmic breathing from today.

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Step 2 – Gratitude Diary – What I am grateful for about myself

Current research supports the use of a Gratitude Diary as one of the most effective ways to manage stress and depression, which are commonly associated with bullying. Now I understand when you are being bullied that you may find it harder to express gratitude, but there is always something to be grateful for. It might simply be going home at the end of the day. It might be someone you barely know smiling at you in the corridor, it might be seeing the sun shine through a window. I hope that the impact of the tools I have shared in these articles have already started to help you so that you can be grateful for new habits which make a difference. Just the process of ‘doing gratitude’ changes your brain structure and function.

So treat yourself to a cheap diary, one with space for daily entries. And every day at the end of the day write down 3 things that occurred during the day that you are grateful for. Of course you can go beyond 3 and you will find over time that you discover even more to be grateful for and your mood or emotional state begins to shift. Be grateful for that too!

Step 3 – Seek support – talk it through

My final words to you. It’s OK to seek help. I perceive it to be a strength and sign of wisdom to seek help when being bullied. All too frequently people feel that being bullied is a sign that they are weak, or they start to even believe that they deserve it in some way. No. It is not OK. You are not the problem. Using the tools outlined here, begin to manage your state so that you can talk it through with someone who can help you take action appropriately, for example a counsellor, coach, conciliator or human resource professional. Find a way to let it go and put it completely in your past. 

Finally, talk it through with a friend, someone who can hold the space for you and hug you. A 20 second hug releases the feel good hormone, oxytocin, giving you the strength to say, ‘Enough is enough’. If you are alone when you need a hug, by placing the palm of your hand against your heart so you can feel your heart beat for 20 seconds, also releases oxytocin. This is a great emotional first aid when you are alone. And it’s even more powerful if you talk lovingly to yourself while you are doing it, appreciating all that you are.

The above steps are not meant to be sequential, rather they can be used in response to what you most need at that moment. What is most important is that you put these steps into action. It is only by appreciating that they are important and then taking action that you will build new neural pathways to create a different future.

If you have been bullied in the past – trust yourself, love yourself and make the decision today to proclaim to the world – ‘I am more than enough – this stops HERE and NOW’. Let the true you shine out again, showing the world just how special you are, because you deserve the very best.

Author of this article:
Dr Suzanne Henwood is an Associate Professor in Health and Social Sciences and a Master Trainer of multiple Brain Integration Technique (mBIT). She can be contacted through her website.

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