Resilience is the ability to bounce back and handle adversity. We all live hectic lives these days so if we can increase our levels of resilience, we should be able to achieve more, experience less stress and feel calmer. The ability to manage emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart conducted research with more than a million people, and found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. This increases their levels of resilience so that they can ride the storms that may come their way. They can deal with change and adversity much more effectively because their emotions and stress hormones are in check.
A Yale study found that prolonged stress causes degeneration in the area of the brain responsible for self-control. It also increases risk of heart disease, depression, and obesity, and decreases cognitive performance.
The more resilient we become, the more able we are to defend against the feelings of stress and anxiety and the consequences they can have.
Here are 5 tips for increasing your resiliency.
- Cultivate Positive Emotions
The way we feel determines how we view situations. If we are feeling positive we are generally able to deal with adversity more easily. Take an example, lets say you’ve just received some positive feedback about your behaviour and are feeling great. The door opens and your least favourite client walks in. Because you are in a good mood, you can brush off their behaviour/attitude whereas if the opposite had just happened ie you’ve just received some negative feedback and are feeling annoyed and deflated and the same client walks in, your ability to deal with them is hampered.
The more ways you can help yourself experience positive emotions the better. It maybe that you:
- Use music to pump yourself up
- Focus on positive experiences
- Do more things that bring you joy
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Be grateful for the small things
Research conducted at the University of California found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy, and physical well-being.
- Be mindful
Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It can be extremely difficult to enjoy time off if your phone keeps ringing or you look at your emails constantly. Instead, try and be present in the moment from time to time rather than thinking about all the ‘stuff’ that needs doing. Research (and personal experience) shows that just 10 minutes a day of mindfulness, meditation or guided visualisation reduces the activity in the limbic system – the emotional centre of the brain. It’s like giving your mind a warm bath and we all know how soothing and relaxing that can be. These practices again, have been shown to increase resilience. Try looking at the Smiling Mind website for some ideas.
Top performers have their work/life balance in order. It’s important to take some time out of the chaos that can be life to do things you enjoy and help you decompress:
- Find a hobby
- Go for a walk
- Sit by the ocean
- Read a book
- Talk things out with a confidante
- Ensure you get enough sleep
Good quality sleep enables you to exercise greater self-control, focus your attention and perform better.
The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. When you find yourself believing the negative and pessimistic things your inner voice says, it’s time to stop and write them down.
Any time you use words like “never,” “worst,” “ever,” they require re-framing. Change your focus and change your language. Focus on the solution not the problem, focus on the positive not the negative and change your language to reflect that. So rather than
“I’ll never be ready for this meeting” reframe to “I need to focus for 10 minutes so I can feel as prepared as possible for this meeting”
These small changes will empower you rather than discourage you.
- Get some Support
Identify individuals in your life, both in and outside of work, and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Tapping into your support system when a situation is challenging will provide an outlet for your anxiety and stress and supply you with a new perspective on the situation. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation. Asking for help will strengthen your relationships and increase your resilience.
These tips are relatively simple, it just takes commitment to ensure you follow them and therefore reap the benefits of becoming more resilient.
For more information on resiliency and emotional intelligence training contact Jill@jemtraining.com.au or call on 0438 517973