So I am working on a series of stress resilience presentations for a Fortune 500 company and we are rolling out the series tomorrow. The idea behind resilience is that trying to manage stress as most individuals try to do is a complete impossibility. It’s like saying I’m going to try to manage the weather!
Resilience allows you to shape your behavior in three critical ways:
- How you navigate through the stress in real time. We all know the feeling of dealing with a stressful situation in the moment. We feel overwhelmed, pressured, tightness in our shoulders. Foundational resilience strategies such as breathing are the single best way to gain a bit more control in the midst of the event.
- Being able to bounce-back is pretty important and is all about healing from stress whether it is a big stressor like life threatening illnesses or getting into a car accident or just misplacing your keys and then running late. The body needs some recovery time and will do pretty well if you just take a few minutes to recover. That can mean going for a quick walk, talking to a friend or doing that favorite recess activity…putting your head down on your desk for a few minutes.
- Building immunity from future stress events is all about learning from our experiences whether they are accidental or purposeful. If you are a parent of more than one child you know that you learned a lot from that first kid that helped you deal with the second one a bit more gracefully, knowledgeably, and with less stress. Building immunity on purpose could mean picking up a new project at work or deciding to take on a new fitness program that will challenge your body but help you get stronger.
Stress resilience is not just for individuals either; its also for organizations. Most every company is challenged today in gaining its balance from the economic crisis and while reports from Wall Street are showing positive signs for the near future, the truth is that companies still lack confidence and that employees are double time to make that success happen. And that kind of pace is probably unsustainable. Finding new and innovative ways to create efficiencies, improving how you work with your team and help break down silos with other teams are just a few ways that companies can be more resilient with the result being a less stressed workforce from top to bottom.