Empower Yourself

What is resilience? – can it be learned?

Resilience is the ability to bounce back quickly from a crisis. It’s the brain’s most flexible way of managing stress and responding to threats.

What we know for sure is that resilience is available to all of us. We know this from brain science, which has shown that that our brains have neuroplasticity – the capacity to reorganise and change our thoughts, feelings and actions to help us cope with maximum benefit for our survival.

Brain science shows us that we are born with the mechanisms as well as the brain structure for resilience, but that its development depends on how well we have learned to access it. If we are raised with significant others who know how to build our resilience, we are fortunate, and can probably cope with most crises. If not, we have the power within us to work towards resilience at any age and at any stage.

If we work with the tools and the understanding needed to develop this resilience, we can often reverse an unhappy or dissatisfied attitude toward our personal lives, our work environment, and the world as a whole. And more than this, we can learn to thrive in uncertainty.

Yes, there are a few tasks we will need to master to get our resilience capability to a point of good functioning, and a few ongoing tasks to maintain its effective level. These tasks or tools are there for life, and at your disposal, whenever you need them.

Here is a look at some of the practical tools:

• Daily attention to goal setting – start your day with a 10 minute reflection on what you want to achieve today

• Lean into your emotional and physical well-being – be curious about what are you feeling and why and what your energy feels like today

• Set goals to energise yourself if you need to – for example, exercise outside, listen to music and dance, phone a friend or drink your favourite coffee

• Practice gratitude for what is good for you right now

• Find that window of tolerance where you feel you are doing what you can at this time and in this moment.

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