The start of 2020 in Australia has been an emotionally and mentally challenging one.
Bushfires, climate change, loss of life (human and animal) and property destruction have and will continue to impact us all. The challenge is, this will not be the only time we’re faced with this. The climate changes on our planet are ongoing and regardless of what policy is implemented, we, as humans, will need to deal with this again and again.
The associated emotions will not go away, so how do we manage this onslaught?
We need to build our resilience – but what is resilience, and why is it so important?
Resilience is a way of combating stressors in your life. It’s defined as people’s developable capacity to adapt to change, adversity and stressors in a way that not only allows them to bounce back, but also to grow and improve from the experience.
While stress is nothing new, in today’s life and workplaces a high level of personal stress has become the norm. When people are feeling overwhelmed, they are unable to cope with adversity and are often paralysed by inactions. In the workplace, this decreases productivity and increases personal and organisational costs like health care and expenses related to absenteeism. In our personal lives it impacts relationships, financial, physical and mental health.
Stress and adversity are not going to disappear, so a person’s ability to become more resilient to life’s challenges is more important than ever. Research shows that highly resilient people respond to challenges with flexibility, bounce back from challenges and even find opportunity within stress. From a workplace perspective, they perform more effectively in their jobs, are healthier, are more engaged with their work and have higher commitment to their organisations. These same traits flow into their personal lives.
The good news is that resilience can be learned and developed.
To begin with it is important to understand the source of stressors, our response patterns to stress and practical strategies for altering those responses.
Resiliency is made up of three main elements:
FILTER – How you filter information and interpret the world. This describes how you select information and integrate it into your mind and is comprised of personal responsibility, realistic optimism and personal beliefs. Because this is happening in your mind, these elements of resiliency are not always observable to others, though others can often recognise your level of optimism.
ACT – How you handle challenges. This represents how you behave and respond to adversity and difficulty and is comprised of self-assurance, self-composure, problem-solving and goal orientation. In contrast to how you filter information, these elements of resilience are more observable to others.
INTERACT – How you communicate and connect with others. This refers to your ability to communicate courageously with others and cultivate supportive relationships. These aspects of resilience are observable to others, however, feelings about supportive relationships are subjective. It is just as beneficial to have one person in whom you can confide, as it is to have multiple people.
Building resiliency requires that you change your behaviour – and as you know, this can be quite challenging. The strategies we’ll share are intended to help you create and sustain new mental and behavioural habits.
6 Strategies for Enhancing Resiliency
Get into the Driver’s Seat – Examine your subconscious responses and thoughts – instead of letting your brain drive you, get into the front seat and drive yourself. Like when you first learned to drive, at first it will feel strange, but the more you are aware and take control, the more you can manage your responses.
Mindfulness – Focus on the present moment. You can’t change the past, the future is not yet here, so focus on what you can currently control.
Act “As If” – This is about utilising power poses. Power poses are certain expansive body postures that can transform the stress response and induce confidence.
Gratitude – There are numerous physiological and psychological benefits to gratitude, including lower aggression, elevated mood and self-confidence. People can employ many different methods to enhance this quality in themselves.
Giving – Contrary to popular belief, giving can be energising as long as people give in ways that utilise their strengths and allow them to see the results of their efforts. When people give their time and effort to others, this can be one of the most valuable things they can do for themselves as well.
Goal Setting – Goals promote resiliency by focusing our attention and encouraging persistence. They are best designed when they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to personal values and objectives and bounded by a specific timeframe. Importantly, goals should not only focus on the end result, but also on the daily action steps to achieve that end result.
Remember, resiliency can be learned and developed, but you are the one who needs to take charge. If you can train your brain, you won’t just bounce back, you’ll learn to bounce forward.
This approach is based on the © TRACOM Corporation Adaptive Mindset for Resiliency Model
For further information or to deliver this programme in your business contact:
KTSB Consulting on 1300 268 902 or