The Top 3 Resilience Tips So You Can Bounce
By: Deb Maes
July 3, 2013
I have often wondered why some people seem to remain calm in the face of disaster, while others seem to fall apart. In fact it has been a lifelong fascination of mine. My sister and I grew up in the same situation and yet we responded entirely differently to the challenges.
Everyone faces setbacks, change or loss. This is ‘life’. Some setbacks are small, like not getting into a class or school you wanted while others are larger, like hurricanes, floods, terrorist attacks. How we deal with these problems affect the outcome, and impacts our happiness.
Bounce: Being able to keep our ‘cool’ when faced with problems and challenges such as; job loss, financial problems, illness, natural disasters, medical emergencies, divorce or the death of a loved one is what psychologists call resilience.
Splat: Without resilience you can dwell on problems and use unhealthy coping mechanisms and become overwhelmed by life’s experiences. Then you’ll recover from setbacks and that’s just a waste of time and life, don’t you think.
After decades of contemplating what makes the difference between those that can ‘Bounce Back’ and those that ‘Splat’, Positive Psychology has finally caught up. Here is what I have discovered are the 3 top tips that make the difference.
Tip 1: Build Resilient Response to Stress
It’s important to understand the mind and body are connected. What goes on in your mind will affect your body and your bodily responses can set off thought patterns. There are two aspects of building a resilient response to stress: first, an awareness of the body’s responses to stressful events and second, developing the control to stay calm, focused and productive under pressure.
Awareness: Resilient people are aware of the situation, their own emotional reactions and the behaviour of those around them.
Control: By remaining aware, resilient people maintain their control and are then able to think of new ways to tackle problems.
Tip 2: Alternating Performance and Recovery
High performers are able to find a balance between activity and recovery. In fact, high performers know that devoting time to the process of recovery allows more energy to be available when the next challenge inevitably comes along. They also develop the capacity to switch between performance mode and recovery mode at will, creating a balance between activity and recovery.
Tip 3: Build Mental Muscle
Mindfulness is a powerful technique and requires practice, but leads to resilient thinking, which is clear and on task. It is well worth developing the ability to be mindful as it aids in: regulating attention, developing mental agility and managing unwanted thoughts and emotional reactions. Integrating mindfulness into everyday activities builds ability to: stop, notice, focus and take mindful action.
Resilient people not only manage unwanted thoughts, they have a certain mindset that allows them to stay focused, balanced, and on task. This mindset is a set of beliefs that enable them to take action and bounce back in adversity. One of the best things for promoting resilience is a belief that we are competent and able to complete difficult challenges. In next week’s blog we’ll cover the 5 Key Characteristics of a Resilient Mindset.
Which of the 3 you develop this week?
If you would like to develop your mental muscle, please feel welcome to ask for our audio program.