- Do you feel challenged by greater responsibilities at work?
- Do you feel unsupported in your goals, either personally or professionally?
- Are you are finding it difficult to balance work with family needs?
- Are you living true to your values?
- Do you frequently put others needs before your own, to the point where you don’t have any time for yourself?
Resilience, a key component of emotional intelligence, is partly something we are born with, but it can be learnt at any time in our lives. It is the key to both personal and professional success. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of our emotions, how to control and mange them and enables us to handle relationships thoughtfully and empathetically. It helps us to have a clear understanding of our values, strengths and purpose and to take the right action accordingly.
If you would like to learn how to positively manage the challenges or ongoing changes you are experiencing and thrive rather than survive, then the following 10 suggestions can help you to become more resilient to pressure and stress.
1. Develop a positive attitude. Resilient people respond to challenges and change with action, rather than with fear, blame or as a victim. By cultivating a positive attitude and reminding yourself that you are capable and strong and that you will be even stronger by accepting the challenge and taking action to handle it.
2. You have a choice. In many situations, there are often more options than you may think. Learning to be open-minded will allow you to see things from different perspectives. There is always more than one way of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation. When faced with a major challenge gather together as much information as possible and make an action plan and ask someone to help you stick with it.
3. Embrace change. Change is an opportunity to learn and expand your ability to adapt. See it as a way to enhance your life and an opportunity to create new possibilities that can help you fulfill your potential. Encourage yourself to try new things and ask others to join you and support each other.
4. Encourage optimism. It certainly will increase your resilience and enable you to focus on your strengths and achievements and minimise your weaknesses and obstacles. Be conscious of looking for something positive in situations rather than focusing on the negative.
5. Choose how to respond. By choosing how we respond can make a difference to our attitude and how our lives shape up. Having an internal locus of control you feel you control your destiny, rather than your fate being largely controlled by external forces. There are undoubtedly some events in life we can’t control, but there are often more occasions when we have more control than we think. If you recognise what you can control, you will feel more empowered, have a more realistic view of life and be less stressed. There are things you can do to change from having an external locus of control to developing an internal locus of control.
6. Be emotionally aware. When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed try to understand what is bothering or upsetting you and why. Keep a journal to write down how you are feeling. The process of writing down your thoughts and feelings often leads to creative solutions and new perspectives. It will help you see and think more clearly about what action to take to manage the situation.
7. Allocate time to look after yourself. Self-care is so important when dealing with stress. Eat healthily, exercise, enjoy being outside, get enough sleep and meditate or find another way to relax and rejuvenate. Setting a routine that you can keep to is important to sustain your health and wellbeing. It is very important to build this into your everyday life. Do what brings you joy and happiness and routinely make time for whatever that is.
8. Share your concerns with someone who you can rely on. Although we have to deal with our own challenges, talking to a friend who you can trust and is supportive can reduce the level of stress you are experiencing. If you feel you need expert help to support you then don’t delay.
9. Try humour. It might not be easy to do when you are feeling under pressure but is it a great antidote to stress and will help you bond with others and make you more resilient. Even in the most difficult of circumstances there is often humour. It helps you see things in a different light and by doing so you may come up with alternative solutions.
10. Be kind to yourself. Appreciate how you feel and acknowledge that you can make changes to reduce the stress in your life. Understand you will need to make changes to the way you behave, respond and live your life.
I know how important it is to look after your mental and physical wellbeing after suffering burn out myself as a driven young woman climbing the career ladder.
If you are prone to stress, feelings of overwhelm or anxiety, the key to feeling more in control and empowered is to build your resilience, your emotional intelligence and sustain and maintain a routine including the suggestions above.
I have found many of my clients are more resilient than they think and by building their resilience and emotional intelligence find inventive and wonderful ways of dealing with what life throws at them. Commitment and effort is required, but it’s definitely worth it, so you can learn to thrive rather than just survive.