Why is it that some people thrive in the face of challenge and adversity at work, while others panic and withdraw into themselves? And why is it some people appear to get ahead while others tread water, or slowly drown in the turbulent waters of life? Resilience is not a characteristic gifted to some individuals and not others. The key is that resilience is not a passive quality, but an active process.
In organisations it is fair to say that the effectiveness of large scale change is in some part due to the resilience of individuals to cope with the stress entailed in implementing or being on the receiving end of the change. While people can experience some stress as energising and exciting, too much stress is disabling and the circumstances that brought this about seen as adversity. Everyone has different resilience abilities and resources and luckily they can be built and enhanced.
Resilience is the ability to adapt well to stress, adversity, trauma or tragedy. It means that, overall, you remain stable and maintain healthy levels of psychological and physical functioning in the face of disruption or chaos. If you have resilience, you may experience temporary disruptions in your life when faced with challenges, for instance, you may have a few weeks when you don’t sleep as well as you typically do. But you’re able to continue on with daily tasks, remain generally optimistic about life and rebound quickly. Resilience is very important to assist people cope with change and deal with stressful situations.
Resilience can help people deal with disappointments and setbacks without becoming depressed or negative, endure loss, chronic stress, traumatic events and other challenges. It will enable individuals to develop a reservoir of internal resources that can be drawn on, and it may protect against developing some mental illnesses. Resilience helps people survive challenges and even thrive in the midst of chaos and hardship. Resilience is a form of emotional buoyancy.
So how can we develop it? Some actions and topics for training that help build resilience are:
- Get connected and reconnect with what provides meaning to your life. Build strong, positive relationships with family and friends, who can listen to your concerns and offer support. Volunteer or get involved in your community.
- Use humour and laughter. Remaining positive or finding humour in distressing or stressful situations doesn’t mean you’re in denial. Humour is a helpful coping mechanism.
- Learn from your experiences. Recall how you’ve coped with hardships in the past, either in healthy or unhealthy ways. Build on what helped you through those rough times and don’t repeat actions that didn’t help.
- Develop a realistically optimistic attitude. While you can’t change events, look toward the future, even if it’s just a glimmer of how things might improve. Reframe events and find something in each day that signals a change for the better. Expect good results.
- Focus on what you can control or influence. Building resilience involves recognizing what you cannot change or affect and focusing your efforts on what you can have an impact on.
- Take care of yourself. Tend to your own needs and feelings, both physically and emotionally. This includes participating in activities and hobbies you enjoy, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and eating well. Actively manage your stressors and stress. Enjoying an Australian sunny blue sky can lift the spirits!
- Accept and anticipate change. Be open minded, persistent and flexible when seeking solutions. Try not to be so rigid that even minor changes upset you or that you become anxious in the face of uncertainty. Expecting changes to occur makes it easier to adapt to them, tolerate them and even welcome them.
- Work toward goals. Do something every day that gives you a sense of accomplishment. Even small, everyday goals are important. Having goals helps direct you toward the future. Be task focused at work and recognize your accomplishments.
- Take action. Don’t just wish your issues or the change would go away or ignore them. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan to do it, and then take action. Celebrate your successes.
- Learn new things about yourself. Review past experiences and think about how you’ve changed as a result. You may have gained a new appreciation for life. If you feel worse as a result of your experiences, think about what changes could help. Explore new interests, such as taking a cooking class or visiting a museum.
- Think better of yourself. Be proud of yourself. Trust yourself to solve problems and make sound decisions. Nurture your self-confidence and self-esteem so that you feel strong, capable and self-reliant. This will give you a sense of control over events and situations in your life.
- Maintain perspective. Don’t compare your situation to that of somebody you think may be worse off. You’ll probably feel guilty for being down about your own problems. Rather, look at your situation in the larger context of your own life, and of the world. Keep a long-term perspective and know that your situation can improve if you actively work at it.
- Reach out early. Seek the support and assistance you need and also offer to support others.
The key is to identify ways that are likely to work well for each person as part of a personal strategy for fostering resilience.
Trackback from your site.