‘Resilience is not just about bouncing back, but bouncing forward.’
None of us wants stress but we’ve learned to accept it as part of our busy lives.
“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek
We could loosely define stress as a feeling of emotional or physical tension that comes from events or thoughts that make us feel frustrated, angry or nervous. It’s how we react when we feel under pressure or threatened.
The Resilience Advantage
What is Resilience and … Why do we need it in our personal and professional lives?
We can think of it as the ability to bounce back, adapt, and thrive in the face of adversity. As entrepreneurs and dynamic leaders we need to deal with daily challenges.
Resilience has to do with how we navigate challenges and setbacks.
They could be issues at work or with our friends and families. And as much as we sometimes want to separate these, we know that they are intertwined.
The impact of chronic stress on our physical and mental health is a major problem for individuals and organizations. We are feeling increasingly overwhelmed as a society and sometimes it’s hard for people to know where to turn for support.
Resilience is crucial to maintain well-being and foster inner growth.
Basically, resilience is a healthy way to deal with stress. Not to manage it but to overcome the underlying causes through behavioral flexibility, and adjustments to our external and internal environments.
In short, we don’t have to ‘deal with’ stress, we can choose to be resilient.
The American Psychological Association (APA) has extensively researched and published on resilience. They highlight its role in preventing mental health disorders and promoting well-being. Their report titled “The Road to Resilience” provides an overview of resilience research and strategies.
Resilience is a skill that can be developed and strengthened over time.
Resilience is not an innate quality reserved for a select few; it can be nurtured and developed over time.
Drawing upon the wisdom of psychology, neuroscience, and ancient philosophies, we uncover an array of strategies to foster resilience within ourselves.
These practical techniques empower us to adapt, adjust, and overcome the underlying causes of stress, transforming our lives in profound ways.
Build strong, positive relationships professionally and with friends and family. People can provide you with needed support, guidance, and acceptance in good and bad times
Make every day meaningful
Find purpose and meaning in your daily life. Doing things that are aligned with your values help you to stay motivated and focused, even during difficult times.
Develop problem-solving skills
Enhance your ability to effectively solve problems by breaking them down into smaller, manageable steps. Seek alternative perspectives and brainstorm creative solutions. Developing strong problem-solving skills can boost your confidence and resilience.
Set achievable goals
Set achievable goals that are aligned with your values and aspirations. Break them down into smaller milestones and celebrate your progress along the way. Having goals provides a sense of direction and purpose, and achieving them enhances resilience.
Be Future Focused & Proactive
“The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year.” – John Foster Dulles
While we can learn from the past, the only way to navigate to a desired future is to look towards it. Celebrating goals and milestones along the way.
Take action to address potential problems and challenges before they grow larger.
Learn from experience and be Objective
Reflect on past experiences and learn from them. Distance and an objective perspective can help you see what strategies have been successful in the past.
‘Learn from the past – don’t repeat it
Take care of yourself
Practice self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. can help you to stay physically and mentally healthy
Use mindfulness techniques
Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and deep breathing, can help you to stay calm and focused during potential stressful situations.
By regulating your body and emotional responses as well as clearing your mind, you can make more conscious decisions about what you want to take on and what you’d rather let go of.
Practice gratitude by acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of your life. Regularly reflect on the things you are grateful for, as this can shift your focus from challenges to opportunities and strengths.
The Psychological Benefits of Resilience
A study published in Health Psychology found that individuals with higher resilience levels exhibited better physical health outcomes, including lower inflammation markers and improved recovery from illness or surgery.
Research by psychologists such as Martin Seligman and Barbara Fredrickson provides evidence for the effectiveness of gratitude exercises, positive reframing, and strength-based approaches in fostering resilience.
Why should we hold onto stress?
“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’.” – Eckhart Tolle
Stress corrodes well-being
Research has consistently shown that chronic stress has negative effects on both physical and mental health.
Prolonged exposure to stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, can lead to various health issues, including cardiovascular problems, weakened immune function, and increased risk of mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Resilience promotes adaptive coping. It focuses on how we bounce back from adversity, adapt to challenges, and maintain a sense of well-being. By developing resilience, we grow effective mechanisms to navigate stressful situations.
Resilient people are better at problem solving and decision making. They are more likely to approach problems with a clear and rational mindset. Instead of becoming overwhelmed or succumbing to stress, they maintain focus and develop effective strategies to address challenges. By letting go of stress and embracing resilience we increase the potential for more positive outcomes.
Resilient people can focus on productivity and success. High levels of stress can impair cognitive function, memory, and decision-making, hindering productivity and performance. Resilience enables individuals to maintain focus, adapt to challenges, and persevere in the face of setbacks.
Why hold onto stress when resilience beckons us towards a brighter path?
Stress corrodes our well-being, but resilience fosters adaptive coping mechanisms, enabling us to navigate challenges with grace. It equips us with the cognitive tools to make sound decisions, maintain focus, and strive for success.