Increasing Resilience in the Work Environment

resilience work health

People who can gracefully manage stressful situations – and the pressure of modern day jobs – have one key trait in common, that of being resilient.

The common understanding of resilience is that of the ability to successfully face the burdens and strains of day-to-day life. Other definitions lean on different concepts such as toughness, strength, flexibility, etc. In truth, the best and most concise summary is that resilience is the capacity to ‘bounce back.’

When it comes to work, resilient people are able to handle their workload better, even when faced with unplanned situations, such as shorter deadlines, new assignments, or urgent, pressing matters that must take priority over everything else.

Importantly, resilience is not a trait bestowed only on a chosen few. The fundamental aspect of resilience is that it’s not a passive characteristic, but an active one, deeply influenced by our past experiences and relationships. Most importantly, resilience can be learned.

People with lower levels of resilience can develop the right habits that will help them perform better in stressful situations and live more happily no matter what life throws them.

Resilience is Normal!

At the heart of one’s capacity to deal with stress, tension, and uncertain situations, we can find specific ways of thinking, acting and behaving. Successful patterns and blueprints are accessible to anyone who wants to enhance and cultivate their resilience.

According to many specialists in the field, people who flourish in hard and stressful times, display certain characteristics and skills that help them do so.

Resilience is a normal – not something out of the ordinary – and everyone exhibits it, to some extent. Think of the endless crises that we are confronted with. In the face of war, death, famine, etc., humans have demonstrated a remarkable capacity to adapt. In the aftermath of terrorist attacks, for example, some will (understandably) battle Posttraumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), but many others are able to continue on with their normal lives.

How to enhance your resilience in the work environment

Creating and improving resilience is an individual marathon, not a sprint, that anyone can take, by focusing on thoughts, attitude, and actions involved on the way. Here are some useful principles to commence the journey:

  • Respect and appreciate social interactions. Having great relationships with family and friends is essential to mental and social wellbeing.
  • Approach every problem as a learning opportunity from which valuable experiences and/or new skills can be acquired.
  • Avoid over-stressing when dealing with crises. Most of the tension and anxiety is born out of our reactions to the problem, and not the problem itself.
  • Acknowledge your achievements and celebrate them. Schedule some time at the end of your day to look back and praise yourself on what went as planned. Doing so will educate your mind to focus on successes and not on failures.
  • Have a realistic approach when it comes to life goals. Small steps taken every day, even in the chaotic and exhausting ones, will take you a long way towards your goal and give you the satisfaction that you’re moving forward, and not wasting time.
  • Do something positive. When dealing with a crisis, take action and do something, because no matter how small it may look to you, it will give you a sense of control on the situation.
  • View yourself in a positive light. Having confidence in your skills, abilities, and instincts will greatly influence your resilience.
  • Have a realistic outlook of things, and choose not to focus on painful and negative experiences when it comes to your long-term development.
  • Embrace a positive state of mind, as most things are not entirely bad nor entirely good. Choosing to focus on the positives will ‘teach’ your mind to work for you, and not against you by letting bad thoughts affect you in negative and unproductive ways.

There are, of course, other ways to enhance resilience. For instance, while religious people turn to prayers to strengthen their resilience, others may keep a diary or a journal or use meditation and mindfulness as ways to reconnect with themselves. There is no right or wrong – the critical aspect of building and enhancing resilience is to determine which approach and suits you best and build a strategy around it.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *