Thursday, January 18, 2018

Increase your personal resilience

Change and stress are inevitable, but they are not always bad things. Small doses actually support our health and stimulate our lives. It's when tensions start to weigh us down that we need to reduce the pressure. Strong personal resilience can make the difference between handling challenges effectively and losing your cool. While some people are naturally resilient, most of us have to work at it! Here are some ways to build your resilience:
  • Think positively. Remind yourself of your strengths and achievements. Visualize what you want to accomplish, and believe that good things will happen in your life.
  • Develop a strong social network. Having caring and supportive people around you allows you to share feelings, release stress, receive positive feedback and think of possible solutions to problems.
  • Learn from situations. Use the events around you as opportunities to develop new knowledge or problem-solving skills. More often than not, you may learn something about yourself, and you'll see how you can positively influence future circumstances.
  • Don't blow things out of proportion. Don't treat everything like a catastrophe. You can't change stressful events, but you can change how you interpret and respond to them. Look beyond the present, and stay focused on achieving the best possible outcomes.
  • Take action. While there may not be a fast or simple solution, you can usually take small steps to make a problem better or less stressful. Sit back, brainstorm possible actions, set realistic goals, and then take the first step. Ask yourself, "What's one thing I can do today that moves me in the right direction?"
  • Accept what you cannot change. Certain goals may not be attainable. Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on the things that you can alter.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff. While easier said than done, you should try and let go of things that don't really matter in the long run. This way you'll have more time to focus on the things that do matter. Let go of minor disagreements that really don't matter to improve your stress and your quality of life!
  • Take good care of yourself. Focus on exercising regularly, eating healthy and doing activities you enjoy. The goal is to keep your mind and body in top shape to deal with life's challenges.
  • Seek quiet moments. When you feel tense, go to a peaceful space and take deep, slow breaths - even five minutes can help you relax.
  • Slow down and learn to say no. Don't schedule every minute of every day. Take time for breaks and appreciate the good things in your life. Respectfully say 'no' to activities that are optional or take away from your priorities.
  • Know when to ask for professional help. Common signs of too much stress include irritability, loss of concentration, anxious thoughts, frequent headaches, insomnia and indigestion. If pressures become overwhelming, talk to your physician or call CIBC's Employee & Family Assistance Program (see sidebar) for support.