How to Develop Resilience and Maintain Wellbeing
Resilience isn’t an in-built quality; it’s something we can develop and refine. Certain people’s life experiences will necessitate a hastier development of resilience, but it’s an attribute everyone benefits from.
There’s more to resilience than recovering from significant setbacks. Resilience is what enables us to keep a stiff upper lip in high-pressure situations and appropriately navigate difficult circumstances. It also acts as a sort of safety helmet for our mental wellbeing.
Developing resilience is essential for prospering in our work and private lives. This blog looks at a few factors that’ll help furnish resilience and maintain mental wellbeing.
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A healthy body and mind
Stress has a way of surreptitiously building up and then suddenly rushing through the floodgates and leaving us in a pool of misery. It’s almost a truism to say that a healthy body and mind better equips us to moderate stress and deal with it pragmatically.
Review your work life. Are you taking multiple short breaks throughout the day? Do you find time to leave your workspace and go for a refreshing walk? Are you switching off on the way to and from work and not just doing admin on your phone? Is there a clear boundary between your work life and private life?
Outside of work, are you getting enough exercise? Are you maintaining a healthy, balanced diet? And what about sleep; experts suggest adults need between 7 to 9 hours to function optimally.
Perhaps you’re thinking, ah jeez there’s no hope for me, but small changes in all of these areas will have a substantial impact on your physical and mental health.
Our pandemic addiction to smart phones isn’t doing our mental wellbeing any favours. Of course it’s great to have something to amuse us at the bus stop and on the train, during lunch breaks and on the walk home from the supermarket. No time is wasted when there’s a portable computer at hand!
But this fixation gives the brain no time to rest and process information, especially when we’re inclined to flick from email to the news, from Twitter to Facebook to Candy Crush while also listening to music and checking the weather.
The idea of multitasking is something of a misconception. We’re not actually capable of doing two things at once and in such scenarios the brain is forced to zigzag between tasks. Consequently you’ll wind up feeling foggy and disoriented and all that intended productivity really just wears you down.
Along with ruling out creative thought, this quest for unceasing productivity has a destructive impact on our resilience. Smart phones are great tools but they’re also portals of distraction. My suggestion is to challenge yourself to stay focused on one task at a time and lock-in for at least ten minutes. This might require turning off your phone, but once you recognise the benefits that won’t seem like such a horrifying proposal.
Build a network
A key element of resilience is managing expectations. Someone prone to envisioning lofty success will face walloping disappointment when exposed to the harsh indifference of reality. That’s not supposed to sound pessimistic, it’s just that things don’t always go as planned.
Sharing and discussing your experiences with other people lets you develop more realistic expectations. And that’s obviously not the only benefit of forging a close network. Other people are able to offer support and advice when things go awry. This is a role you can fulfil too as an integrated community member.
Working with and supporting others eases your burdens and breeds stronger collective resilience.
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Billy has been writing blogs for Happy since 2017, covering mindfulness, stress management, confidence building and emotional intelligence as well as offering handy tips for Office 365 users. He's also an established arts, culture and lifestyle writer.
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