Resilience is a key building block that allows you to bounce back from adversity and navigate times of change without being controlled by fear or anxiety. Resilient people overcome challenges with a sense of renewed purpose and strength, and feel empowered to use their emotional resources to help others work through troubled times, as well.
Research has shown that resilience can help people overcome mental health issues like post-traumatic stress (PTS) and develop healthy mental outcomes caused by stressful situations.
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to create uncertainty, fear, and chaos in all of our lives, we thought it would be helpful to review five ways resilience training improves your mental health.
1. Coping Skills Improve Resilience
Learning to cope with stress allows you to handle setbacks and adversity. Developing strategies to stop negative thought patterns, reframe your thoughts, and find creative solutions will give you a powerful feeling of control and confidence that further increases your resilience.
Building your coping skills takes time, but continued success in this area helps you feel more capable of managing stressful situations and staying solution-focused during times of stress and change.
2. Optimism Improves Resilience
People who feel in control of their lives are more optimistic because they feel confident in their ability to manage any situation, no matter how difficult.
Resilience training focuses on what you can do to take control in various situations, and how to build your confidence so that you don’t feel reliant on anyone else. Learning to mentally and physically adapt helps us ignore the “fight or flight” response that anxiety and stress trigger within us.
Take your Hardiness Resilience Gauge assessment and invest in resilience training today.
3. Self-Awareness Increases Resilience
Understanding how you react to times of stress and change requires a degree of self-awareness, which is developed during resilience training. Learning to plan and react realistically helps you focus on your goal planning, and forces you to look honestly at your strengths and weaknesses.
Setting goals and accomplishing them also builds self-esteem and confidence, which increases your ability to manage feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or despair when they arise.
4. Mindfulness Increases Resilience
Controlling your emotions during a stressful period means learning to reign in your moods and manage your reactions.
This is easier said than done, but resilience training can accelerate this process by helping you develop healthy mindfulness habits. Here are some examples:
- Meditate for a few minutes each day. Turn everything off, focus on your breath, and try to clear your thoughts or simply allow them to pass through you. Science has shown that meditating for just a few minutes a day can have significant positive impacts on your mental well-being.
- Note down your feelings instead of focusing on them. If your anxiety is distracting you from focusing on other areas, write down what’s bothering you so you can return to it later with a clear, focused perspective.
- Use “thought stopping” tricks. Keep a rubber band around your wrist and “snap” the rubber band (lightly!) whenever your thoughts start to spiral. This physical action helps “snap” you out of a negative thought cycle.
5. Communication Improves Resilience
Developing communication skills is essential to becoming resilient. Instead of hiding or downplaying how you feel, be honest with those around you and do your best not to become defensive or let your ego dictate your thinking.
If you need to, write down how you feel so you can come back and look at it later when you feel less emotionally volatile. When reading your words, ask yourself things like “how much of this statement was influenced by fear?” and “do these thoughts help me solve this problem?”
Discuss your thoughts and emotions with loved ones and trusted colleagues who can give you insight into how you’re reacting and can support you in healthy ways.
Start Developing Your Resilience Today
Resilience isn’t just about overcoming current stressors, it’s a long-term life skill that contributes to greater emotional and mental health. If you’re ready to help your team stay resilient, contact us to learn more about our Leading with Resilience program.
Have you already started developing your “soft skills”? Our book Emotional Intelligence: Your Foundation for Success is packed with 45 exercises to improve your mental acuity — get your copy today!