Weird & Wonderful Ways to Build Mental Resilience with Ben Aldridge
What are the best ways to build mental resilience? Today’s guest teaches us how to create weird and wonderful challenges to push through resistance and overcome anxiety.
Ben Aldridge is the bestselling author of How to be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable: 43 Weird & Wonderful Ways to Build a Strong, Resilient Mindset. Ben’s crippling anxiety prevented him from living fully. In his search for a solution, he discovered that the more he tested himself in controlled environments, the more his anxiety diminished. Since then, he continues to push himself by accomplishing the strange and seemingly impossible.
In this episode, Ben explains how to plan mental, physical, and skill-based challenges that will accelerate our growth and develop a tolerance for being uncomfortable. He talks about how we can leave our comfort zones, face our fears, and increase our confidence. He also tells us how we can help our kids build mental resilience with weird and wonderful challenges!
Are you ready to get uncomfortable and build a more resilient mindset?
Ben Aldridge is a writer, teacher and musician from the UK. He writes about practical philosophy, comfort zones, mental health and adventure. His first book “How to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable: 43 Weird & Wonderful Ways to Build a Strong Resilient Mindset” is an exploration of unique ways to leave our comfort zones and face our fears. Heavily influenced by Stoicism, Buddhism, Popular Psychology and CBT, Ben’s challenges encourage us to get uncomfortable and experience the personal growth that we can only gain from pushing ourselves to the limit.
Ben’s interests are extremely diverse. You’ll find him climbing mountains, learning Japanese, running marathons, solving Rubik’s cubes, eating bizarre food, taking ice baths and sleeping in unusual places. The challenges that he sets for himself and his readers are often quirky, fun and demanding.
How to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable: 43 Weird & Wonderful Ways to Build a Strong, Resilient Mindset
After debilitating anxiety and panic attacks began to impact his daily life, Ben Aldridge decided to tackle his mental health issues in a creative way. His journey led him on a year of completing weird and wonderful challenges in the name of self-improvement. By deliberately leaving his comfort zone and enduring difficulties, Ben completely changed his life.
Ice-cold showers, eating repulsive insects, running marathons, sleeping in unusual places, wearing ridiculous clothes and learning to solve the Rubik’s cube in under a minute are some of the ways Ben has pushed his body and mind to learn more, endure more and conquer more.
Varying in length, difficulty and category, Ben explains how to complete each challenge, how it changed his life and how you can push yourself with this practical method of self-development.
From learning a new language to climbing a mountain, see how far you can challenge yourself to overcome your fears and self-imposed limitations.
Packed with useful tips and tricks from Stoicism, Buddhism, CBT and popular psychology, this book encourages us to face our fears, embrace adversity and leave our comfort zones.
What You’ll Learn
- The variety challenges Ben has conquered.
- Through these challenges, Ben went from a gray, fear-based existence to a colorful life.
- The 3 types of challenges you should practice:
- Physical (like working up to running a marathon)
- Skill-based (like leaving your academic-intellectual comfort zone)
- Mental (practicing discomfort, like cold exposure)
- Struggling is good for the mind. You should put yourself in frustrating situations.
- Pay attention to your thoughts when under stress and anxiety so you can develop strategies for dealing with them.
- The stoics of ancient Greece and Rome would deliberately sleep on the floor to practice discomfort. Ben tried “bivvying” where he slept outside in a bag in scary environments.
- You receive a boost in confidence each time you conquer a challenge.
- Lean into your fears instead of avoiding them.
- Why we should look at our anti-bucket list instead of our bucket list
- Go where there is huge mental resistance. Ben had acupuncture because he was afraid of needles.
- Prepare for chaos and in life because it will come.
- These challenges are an insurance policy against future adversity.
- How Ben climbed Mount Everest … on his stairs in his home during lockdown. Ben also ran a marathon in his yard.
- Start small and break up your routine. Find pockets of time to challenge yourself.
- Have something on the calendar you are working towards, like an event to train for.
- Bring friends in with you to help with accountability.
- Children should see parents step out of their comfort zones.
- Inviting your kids to do challenge with you creates a special bond.
- Using downtime for adventure instead of TV.
- Develop your own system to deal with adversity and anxiety and use challenges as a controlled environment to test these strategies.
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