How is your resilience?
Do you feel like you can handle whatever is thrown at you all the time?
Perhaps you can handle things a lot of the time, and sometimes it’s just too much?
Or perhaps you are in a funk and feeling like you’ll never be able to pick yourself up and bounce back.
We humans arrive in the world as splendid little humans ready to learn and take on what life brings our way. We are not born knowing it all. That comes with time and experience.
Kaufmann (2013) said people learn new skills in 20 hours and master them in a further 9,980 hours. That’s a lot of hours! It’s no wonder we aren’t always able to operate at our peak all of the time.
This brings me to how our brain works. I’m not an expert but I’ve done my share of research and reading over the years and what I’ve discovered is that we CAN train our brain to operate differently. It’s tied up in neuroscience and something called plasticity. You may have heard how miraculously people learn how to walk after a catastrophic injury? There are many examples. This is the notion of being able to retrain the brain to drive the operation of the body in a different way.
Add into the equation the impact of our prehistoric brain (amygdala) with the flight, fight and flee responses. When we are under pressure our prehistoric instincts take over and there can be a tussle for which part of the brain will manage the situation.
When it comes to responses to pressure, and in this case being resilient, we can train ourselves to be more so. It’s what I call bounce (back).
So resilience allows you to control a negative situation calmly and clearly.
Some tips for how to achieve this are:
- Pace yourself. If your amygdala is saying get out of there and make it fast, aim to slow it down. Find a pace that works for you best.. Some people breathe, others take time to look at or read something, they may take a walk, just take time to process. It’s your pace, you can set it to work for you.
- Think about what is happening and ask yourself, is this fact or fiction? Make sure you’re responding to a real issue.
- Avoid gossiping – it only makes it worse. Communicate what you need to, and who you need to, when you have control of the situation.
- Pose the question to yourself (and others if appropriate) – how helpful is…?
- Endeavour to think and speak positively.
- Phone a friend. As you do this remember it’s OK to be vulnerable. Friends are safe.
Once you have collected yourself together and are have a greater understanding and feel more in control, then you can act.
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