Stress resilience: how to improve it?


We all know that stress is, unfortunately, a part of life. However, learning how to handle stress and becoming more resilient to it can mean the difference between keeping your cool and coping with work pressures, and blowing it and your job in the process. But how can you work on your resilience?

The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you'd ever believe at first glance. - Jodi Picoult


Resilience refers to how well an individual can quickly cope and recover from difficulties and challenges. Similarly, stress resiliency specifically focuses on coping with and recovering from stress. Being stress resilient has many advantages in the workplace. Similarly to personality, stress resiliency is mostly natural and innate within most individuals. Fortunately, there is a plethora of methods to increase one's stress resiliency, even within individuals who are not generally considered stress resilient.

Resilience building techniques

Believe in yourself. Yes, you are right: it is indeed cliché. It is, however, very true. Self-belief and self-esteem go a long way in helping you cope when life (and work) challenges you. It is important to reflect on your own strengths and recite positive affirmations about yourself. The vast majority of people have a brain's "negativity bias", which refers to our greater sensitivity to negativity. We tend to quickly develop negative feelings after a few bad moments, while we need numerous positive moments to maintain our positive feelings in the face of adversity. This technique will help you to keep going, regardless of doubts, by remembering that for most of us, our lifetime successes far exceed our failures.

Make connections. Regardless of being an introvert or an extrovert, a strong social circle is always a bonus when it comes to developing stress resiliency. In moments when coping through self-belief is too difficult, friends and acquaintances can significantly help in getting you through difficult times.

Face changes head on. Unfortunately, fearing changes does not get you anywhere, and in most cases, they will occur with or without your consent. Facing and embracing changes helps you to be more adaptable and therefore resilient in your work when it gets difficult. While a different routine at work can be very challenging, especially after years, and even decades, of performing a task in the same manner, it is also an opportunity to learn about one's self and to face new challenges, often helping us in our personal development.

A life long work-in-progress. Hard truth: among extremely stress resilient individuals, some are born this way, others have to make a significant repeated effort over a long period of time to be this way. This is very important to keep in mind. Stress resiliency is a lifelong process. It takes time, and it takes effort. Through time, if dedicated, it will increase, although you may experience setbacks at some points. The important part is to always look forward, to develop your own skills related to resilience, and to be aware of your own feelings and emotions.

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