Mental health is more than just an absence of mental illnesses or disorders. One of the many dimensions of positive mental health is resilience, thus teaching methods to enhance resilience signifies a move towards a prevention and strength-building model of mental health. This 'Living a Resilient Life' course ensures the understanding of important elements of being resilient in every facet of life, starting from the definition and elements of resilience, to a person's ability to respond to situations resiliently.
Resilience is a very personal concept.
Everyone starts from a different resilience base. No one is 100% resilient, and everyone is to some extent resilient. It’s a dynamic process, and the attitudes and behaviours that support it, can be learned and developed.
Resilience is more likely to exist on a continuum that is influenced by life, relationships, environment and the interactions individuals face at a point in time.
Emotion and your ability to manage your emotions play a massive part in your resilience journey.
In cases of a serious lack of resilience, it leads to helplessness and seeing oneself as a victim of circumstance.
Think about the everyday challenges, changes, setbacks, adversities, disappointments and failures you face at work.
Pretending it didn’t happen…
Kira Newman, in an article titled, “Five Science-backed Strategies to Build Resilience” (November 2016) wrote a wonderful introduction.
Resilience in business
in the changing world.
that with advances in technology and globalisation,
businesses need to be able to effectively cope with what is often an uncertain and ever-changing world –
Therefore, businesses are quickly recognising that helping employees with this concept results in significant and measurable benefits to the organisation.
as an ability to adapt.
In his book, Aging Well, Harvard University psychologist George Vaillant describes resilient individuals as resembling... ‘a twig with a fresh, green living core. When twisted out of shape, such a twig bends, but it does not break; instead it springs back and continues growing’. (p.285) “The capacity to adapt and rebound from stressful life events strengthened and more resourceful” (Daniel et al., 2012). “A phenomenon or process reflecting relatively positive adaptation despite experiences of adversity or trauma” (Luthar, 2005). “The process of adapting well in the face of trauma or tragedy, threats or other significant sources of stress” (American Psychological Association; Southwick et al., 2014).
Forward-looking and in-the-moment
It’s important to ensure the wellbeing of individuals for the long-term, and also whilst being “in-the-moment”.
There is opportunity to learn what the different element of resilience are in practical terms, and how they impact real-life situations, including: The day-to-day challenges when in high-intense and high-stress roles Giving bad news, and dealing with sensitive and emotional issues – with colleagues, management and customers Being on the receiving end of difficult-to-hear decisions, critiques and feedback
What are two ways of looking forward and being in-the-moment?
A two-pronged approach
When developing a personal Resilience Plan, there are 2 distinct parts to consider:
The skills include, but are not limited to: Interpersonal communication skills Problem-solving skills Assertiveness skills Networking and collaboration skills Having difficult conversations Conflict management skills
A person’s ability to respond
There are many things that impact a person’s ability to bounce back after challenges, changes, setbacks, adversities, disappointments and failures.
Personal characteristics or attributes. For example, negative social attitudes, mental health difficulties, tendency to dwell on problems or feel victimised, tendency to become easily overwhelmed, etc.
When experiencing feelings of vulnerability, it’s not unusual to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
These include substance abuse and bad eating habits.
It’s important to develop capabilities that can foster resilient behaviours, and that can protect in times of adversity and heightened stress.
These are practical ideas relating to key capabilities of resilience at work based on the latest evidence-based research.
We categorise the concept of resilience with different elements.
Purpose and Congruence