Resilience is the ability to bounce back from traumatic and stressful life experiences, becoming wise and adapting to difficult situations. A resilient person embodies characteristics such as optimism, positive outlook on life, sense of meaning and purpose to their life. You are not necessarily born resilient, you learn and acquire these inner resources through adapting to life situations and experiences. Positive psychology and corresponding research into the effects of traumatic experiences have provided a learning framework that can improve people’s ability to be resilient in the face of adversity. As CEO’s and leaders of Industries you have already acquired many of these resilient qualities.
What promotes your resilience?
Positive relationships with friends, family, work mates and community
Good communication skills
Emotional, intellectual and/or creative development
Healthy self esteem
Good physical and mental health
Planning and goal setting
Sense of humour
Sense of mastery
Being able to relax, take time out
What drains your resilience?
Lack of connectedness to others
Communities that do not reach out to their members
Not caring for yourself physically and emotionally
Lack of sense of mastery or control
Focusing on the negative
Lack of humour
Tips to build your resilience
Accept the things you can’t change
Find opportunities in life’s challenges
Focus on the present
Set yourself realistic goals
Be active, eat and rest well
mind focus and meditation practices
Use humour to see things differently
Develop supportive relationships
For Comprehensive Audio Guide to Mindfulness and Resilience Strategies is available here
Gratitude – appreciate the simple things in life
Gratitude is a positive emotion, feeling thankful for things in your life. Find something to be grateful for in your life, appreciate the simple things in life.
Emotional resilience research shows that emotional health is not simply about being happy all the time. Rather it is the capacity to experience and have an acceptance of all the emotions that can arise.
Develop a more accepting relationship with your emotions. When you feel vulnerable or sad, welcome this as you would a visitor into your home. Sit with the feeling, label it, acknowledge the intensity and watch for some form of expression that is appropriate to display. Studies have shown that men who are willing to express their feelings have stronger immune systems and are less susceptible to heart disease, asthma and arthritis.
Anger is the emotion that gets the most attention but what about the vulnerable emotions such as depression, feeling of loss, failure, anxiety, or grief.
Tips for getting to know your emotions:
Every emotion is there for a reason – if it wasn’t your body wouldn’t bother to generate it. There can be a big difference between how you feel and how you behave. Just because you feel a certain way doesn’t mean you inevitably have to act in a certain way. It’s possible to feel and express anger, for example, without becoming violent or abusive.
Without “negative” feelings it wouldn’t be possible to experience positive feelings. In the words of the philosopher Kahil Gibran, “The deeper sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”
Ask yourself questions about how you are feeling:
Who or what was I feeling the feeling towards?
What was the feeling like in my body?
What would the feeling look like if it was an image?
Some people find it useful to draw or paint their feelings as a way of developing a greater awareness of what they are experiencing.
Emotions can be shared through the creative arts, painting, poetry, dance and movement, telling a story, metaphor.
The more relaxed and happy you are the greater is your ability to attend and be available to act and respond.
Flourishing teams are indicated by:
Purpose in life
Positive relationships with others
high levels of engagement with each other
Regular weekly mindhealthharmony focus groups bringing compassion, mindfulness, resilience and creativity into your workplace