Hire Graham Y. , a brainy Business Trainer from Woking, United Kingdom | Expertbase

Building Your Personal Resilience To Reduce Stress

Quick Summary

A look at why developing greater resilience matters.
Personal Development
60
7 min
1318 Words
3.3 K
"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last of the human freedoms – to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances." (Viktor Frankl)

Why does developing greater resilience matter? We are all under increasing amounts of pressure both at work and in our personal lives. As these mount we can either use them as a positive spur or we might find them building up to make us begin to feel stressed. A major project was carried out in the pharmaceutical giant, GSK. They addressed resilience for both individuals and teams. When they wanted to assess the effectiveness of the project, the results were:

* Work related mental ill-health down by 60%
* Reported pressure due to work/life conflicts fell by 25%
* Staff satisfaction with the company increased by 21%
* 14% increase in willingness among staff to experiment with new work practices

Recent research suggests that the numbers of us who are feeling stressed are increasing. It depends which source you want to believe, but the general figures come out between 40 – 50% of the working population. You have some choices if you are getting caught in this trend. This article will provide you with some ideas which you can follow through and implement for yourself to be more resilient.

What is resilience? There are a number of definitions or ideas about the meaning. Resilience can be thought of as our ability to bounce back, or even grow, in the face of pressures and threats. The American Psychological Association defines resilience as the ability to adapt in the face of adversity, trauma or tragedy. The GSK project had a slightly fuller definition, especially relevant for the workplace. "Resilience is the ability to be successful, personally and professionally, in a highly- pressured, fast-paced and continuously changing environment". If you choose to become more resilient you will find that you can handle pressure differently and will feel much better and more empowered. You will have the attitudes and behaviours of resilient people: Confidence; focused and organised; adaptable; proactive; energetic.

A key element in building your personal resilience lies in your thinking! Your thinking triggers your emotions which then influence your behaviour. Many people faced with increasing pressures will respond in a hopeless or helpless manner. If you ever find yourself with either of these feelings – it’s time to work on developing your resilience! What you need to realise is that you have choice about your thoughts and consequently your attitude and behaviour. These thoughts are an outcome of something close to your "core" – your beliefs and values. We all have a collection of beliefs including both empowering and limiting. In this context, beliefs are generalisations we hold about life and ourselves. We develop these throughout our lives, with input and influences from many of the people we encounter from parents through to work colleagues to friends. Our empowering beliefs are the "can do" messages we have, "I can do......", "It’s OK for me to......." and ones like that. When we are living to our empowering beliefs we will tend to be happier and feel more positive – and be more resilient when pressure builds. Our limiting beliefs are just that, they limit what we might be able to do. They are not necessarily negative because underneath them is usually a positive intention. We can recognise our limiting beliefs when we are thinking or saying things such as, "I can’t........", "It’s not OK........", "I must.....", "I have to......" which will hold us back or stop us doing things.

Too many limiting beliefs will lead to feelings of hopelessness or helplessness in the face of mounting pressure. To develop your resilience it is important to be aware of the main limiting beliefs you hold – and work out what would be better to think instead. Generate some alternatives which are empowering. Remember, these are your own personal property!! You can choose what beliefs you want to have.

Another "thinking" element to understand when exploring your response to pressure is the very human habit of revisiting past experiences. The power of precedent can by strong! Do recognise, that was then, now is now! You have choice about whether to respond in the way you used to, or do you want to choose a different option? At the end of the day, your thinking will drive your attitudes to how you want to handle pressure. Your attitudes can also influence whether certain pressures will even occur, especially those generated by other people.

When pressure is leading to feelings of stress it will affect your behaviours. There will be physical symptoms which might include: poor sleeping patterns; loss of appetite; stomach problems; headaches and tension. Other clues can be in the way you carry yourself, your posture and other elements of your physiology. When feeling under pressure or stressed others may notice that your shoulders might be down, slightly bent into a "C" shape, head down, avoiding eye contact and possibly your voice is flatter. Interacting with others you might withdraw and have minimal contact, become irritable and argumentative, reacting in a hypersensitive manner and communicating poorly.

To build your personal resilience you need to recognise when any of these symptoms are happening to you. You can then choose to react in a resilient manner – or succumb to the pressure and allow yourself to begin feeling stressed. A way of achieving resilience is to apply a process referred to as cognitive restructuring.

The A-B-C model can be used to represent this concept, based on "A" being the activating event and "C" the consequences (feelings and behaviour) that occur in relation to the activating event. Cognitive restructuring concerns changing the "B" component of the model, the beliefs that occur between the activating event ("A") and the consequences ("C").
When faced with increasing pressure you can respond in a resilient way by applying the following ideas. Consider changing your thinking about the pressures you are facing. Keep them in perspective by using thoughts such as, "how important will this be in 6 months, 3years (or whatever)?"; "What is the worst that can happen?" A critical element for handling pressure resiliently is to recognise that it is your own thoughts about it which dictate your response – influenced by your own beliefs. So, when faced with some specific pressures learn to view them from a different perspective and accept you are in charge of how you will respond. To help you with taking this approach take control of your "self-talk". Pay attention to these messages you give yourself as they will influence your response to the pressure and your behaviour.
A further step to take to enhance your personal resilience is to make sure your behaviour projects a positive message. Stand tall, hold eye contact when interacting with others, keep gestures to a minimum. There is a close link between your behaviour and non-verbal messages with what your internal thoughts and self-talk are doing. Even if you have some elements of doubt in your response to the pressures, get your behaviour and non-verbal messages to send out a positive, resilient message. It will help you to think differently and also be noticed by others.

To reduce the chances of becoming stressed apply the ideas outlined above and you will become more resilient and better able to handle pressure. You will feel more capable and confident and act in a more positive manner. Do remember you have choice about your thoughts and behaviours! You can be a role model for others when they are feeling under pressure. To help yourself with achieving personal resilience it is good to mix with positive, resilient people whenever you can. They can help provide you with positive energy and thoughts, which in turn leads to increasing your personal resilience.
This Article is authored / contributed by ▸ Graham Y. who travels from Woking, United Kingdom. Graham is available for Professional Training Work both Virtually and In-Person. ▸ Enquire Now.

Your Comments

Your thoughts matter to others - more than you can imagine.

More Articles published by Graham

23 Free | Ad-Free | Full-Text Business Papers
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Leadership

Why Leadership Matters In Professional Practices

Too many organisations are "over-managed and under-led" to quote Warren Bennis. There is a difference between leadership and management.
50   |   3.73 K   |   7 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Stress Management

When Will Organisations Really Take Stress Seriously?

Most organisations and many managers within them are probably aware of the costs and consequences of stress and stress related problems. They may have ...
50   |   2.83 K   |   7 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Coaching

Coaching Can Get The Boss In Shape

Who tells the boss that they can improve their management or leadership? How do they look at themselves objectively and identify what areas they can improve and the benefits of doing so?
50   |   3.05 K   |   8 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Sales - General

Why Do You Need A Sales Process?

The benefits of having a defined sales process
50   |   5.67 K   |   8 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Success Building

Who Do You Talk To?

When you are a leader in a business you face a number of challenges at different levels. Ask yourself how much focus you put on to these...
50   |   4.52 K   |   7 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Sales - General

Ask For More - You May Get More!!

If you are involved with sales, how do you feel when you hear phrases such as, "Can you do anything about your price" or, "You'll have to do better than ...
51   |   3.12 K   |   7 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Negotiation Skills, Techniques

Careful What You Cut!

Enhance your negotiation skills to keep afloat in tough times
50   |   2.98 K   |   9 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Sales - Specialised

Is Your Sales Forecast Too Sunny?

How to improve the accuracy of your sales forecasts
50   |   3.44 K   |   9 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Sales - General

Sales Success In Tough Time

It is not about having some new magic method for selling, it is about applying the things you have perhaps forgotten.
50   |   3.15 K   |   9 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Sales - General

Be A Successful Sales Manager Not A Super Seller!

How many sales teams suffer because their sales manager is not doing their job at the right "level"? Sales figures suffer, sales people suffer and the ...
50   |   3.58 K   |   8 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Personal Development

The Cost Of Stress - The Need To Monitor And Manage The Risks!

Not only are there a lot of potential risks arising from the spread of stress within an organisation, it costs a great deal of money!
50   |   4.03 K   |   10 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Stress Management

Manage Stress And Mental Health To Improve Performance

Stress and mental health are not issues which managers should ignore. They cost the organisation money, both directly and indirectly.
50   |   2.84 K   |   6 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Corporate Culture

Does Your Culture Support Or Sabotage Your Strategy?

When a company's culture is not right with what is needed for strategic success, the culture has to be changed as rapidly as can be managed!
50   |   3.77 K   |   8 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Success Building

Can Nlp Help Or Harm Your Business?

The simple answer to the above is, "both"! It depends on a number of things. Perhaps the first thing to explore is your reaction to seeing those three ...
50   |   4.84 K   |   15 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Presentation Skills

Presentation Paranoia - Prevention And Cure

Have you had this feeling before? Rest assured you are not alone. You might be one of the many who would rate your fear of public speaking alongside or ...
50   |   14.66 K   |   17 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Change Management

Encouraging Successful Change

Two key dimensions to successful, and effective, change initiatives
50   |   5.09 K   |   10 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Sales - General

You May Be Taking The Wrong Approach To Selling!

Are you hitting or beating your sales target or quota? If not, are you blaming the market, the customers or your competition? If you are making your target ...
50   |   2.67 K   |   8 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Communication

Think Before You Speak!

How many times have you said something and realised that the person, or people, on the receiving end have not fully understood what you meant or headed ...
52   |   5.44 K   |   9 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Stress Management

Are It People Wimps?

Decent management communication and support, plus personal development for the people can combine to help prevent a lot of the issues which lead to pressure ...
56   |   3.17 K   |   6 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Health and Fitness

You Think Absenteeism Is A Problem? Worry About Presenteeism!

It is estimated that about 60% of GBP 23bn in lost productivity in the UK is from presenteeism!
50   |   4.35 K   |   6 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Leadership

Leadership - Do You Use Or Abuse Power?

How do you prefer to "control and influence" others?
417   |   30.59 K   |   6 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Change Management

Implementing Change Successfully

A challenge for most managers is to initiate or implement change programmes - and lead people through them, whether in the way they work or what they do. In this, lies one of your major challenges...
50   |   4.45 K   |   10 min
More Articles written / submitted by Graham Y.
Coaching

Coaching Or Mentoring - Does It Matter Which?

Some differences and grey areas where Coaching or Mentoring overlap
60   |   3.17 K   |   4 min

More 'Personal Development' Articles

6 more Articles that may interest you, too...
Dianne B. : Alpha Or Average?

Alpha Or Average?

Here's how to become the best you can be
2.52 K   |   50
Tyler  H. : Getting Off The Treadmill

Getting Off The Treadmill

Positive Affirmation: Everything I need comes to me easily and effortlessly
3.09 K   |   50
Albert E. : Intrapreneurship: Leveraging Organisational Talent

Intrapreneurship: Leveraging Organisational Talent

The global talent war has seen organisational leaders scratching their heads to understand how they can attract and retain the very best talent that is going to directly impact their organisational worth to shareholders, stakeholders, employees and of course customers.
5.19 K   |   50
David L. : A Different Kind Of Smart Is Changing The World Of Business

A Different Kind Of Smart Is Changing The World Of Business

How do we learn, process, and understand information? What is the process by which we acquire knowledge? In a nutshell, "What makes us smart? What makes us intelligent?"
5.01 K   |   50
Graham Y. : The Cost Of Stress - The Need To Monitor And Manage The Risks!

The Cost Of Stress - The Need To Monitor And Manage The Risks!

Not only are there a lot of potential risks arising from the spread of stress within an organisation, it costs a great deal of money!
4.03 K   |   50
Roy S. : Do You Brighten A Room When You Walk In - Or When You Leave?

Do You Brighten A Room When You Walk In - Or When You Leave?

How others answer that question about you carries more weight than anything you can ever say about yourself or your business. It is a skill that can be learned - but only when you "get" its importance. Or perhaps you are too busy?! But doing what..?
6.38 K   |   50
Back to top
60