How we cope or endure the dramatic changes in life requires practical approaches. Whether it is the contagion of pandemic and the collective anxiety it has generated or disaster displacement to personal setbacks or sorrows, we need to harness our inner strength to rebound. Considering that toxic emotions keep us away from the right priorities during distress, we need to build resilience.
This ability steers our creativity and clarity of thoughts to make smart, informed choices from mental fatigue, fear, or panic in times of tribulations.
No matter what has happened, the impact can begin all the way physiologically to our minds and become chronic. The term “Allostatic Load”refers to extreme harm to our overall wellbeing. It occurs when demand on our internal resources exceeds our capacity. Hence the fear puts excessive pressure on our capabilities and resources, resulting in poor decision-making and burnout.
So how do we get back stability and build mental resilience? Let’s start with a Buddhist parable of the second arrow.
The Buddha once asked a student: “If a person is struck by an arrow, is it painful? If the person is struck by a second arrow, is it even more painful?” He then explained, “In life, we cannot always control the first arrow. However, the second arrow is our reaction to the first. And with this second arrow comes the possibility of choice.”
Here are a few suggestions to restore physical and mental strength by building resilience:
First, calm your mind – Take notice of your thoughts, especially when they running away towards apocalyptic scenarios. Focus on one positive fact: “it is marvelous that I am safe at my home” versus the bad news. You can also use mindfulness apps such as Headspaceor be mindful in support of your initiative to unhook the negative emotion.
Connect with your moral compass. Resilient people are guided by compassion, have a solid sense of fairness, and consider right and wrong.
Believe in something greater than yourself to give you courage and strength – for instance, “a life purpose or a mission.”
Engage in philanthropic activities.
Accept that you cannot change what has happened, but you can focus on what you can change.
Identify meaningful wisdom in the dire experience
Create a social support system with individuals who have a positive outlook in life and a nurturing spirit.
On a final note, a good diet and regular exercise to boost our good health should be part of our daily life.
The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.
Almost invariably, sports’ psychological skills can positively be translated into the business or personal world if adopted with conviction. In many common instances, such as being under pressure, challenged, receiving a reward, or being in a competition, top sports people’s mental skills can be applied as a driving force for professional or personal development.
It appears that the ability to perform exceptionally under pressure is a learned and acquired skill. (Hallett & Hoffman, 2014). A fair amount of learning techniques are available to apply; however, transferring those principles only works if a set of attitudes are cultivated. Top athletes have a rigorous daily routine to overcome physical challenges and to master their sport. Besides working on physical skills, they address their mental approach. In short, to cope with whatever we encounter and optimize our capabilities, here are seven strategies and techniques that will help us transform our performance to reach ideal results:
Stay focused. Your start does not determine how you’re going to finish.
The mental focus in sports is to sharpen on things that will contribute to completing your tasks. Whether it is ripping a dive to bending a soccer ball, all efforts aim to perfect the exercise productively. The same process applies to professional or self-growth. Focusing on thoughts and actions instrumental in reaching your goal fades unproductive worries and builds up confidence.
Be in the Zone
“The zone is a state of mind which is marked by a sense of calmness. In addition, there is a heightened sense of awareness and focus. Actions seem effortless and there is an increased belief that your dreams or goals can become achievable and real. In addition, there is also a sense of deep enjoyment when the person is in this unique, special and magical state of being.” –Dr. Jay Granat, Sports Psychologist
Training and preparation are not enough to find flow. Other techniques, such as meditation and conscious visualization, reinforce the efforts. How we apply these mechanisms is up to the individual’s inclinations. Some people tap into the past rewarding experience and re-energize the emotions they felt. End-results motivate others.
A good example is when Steve Jobs asked Larry Kenyon to cut Macintosh’s boot time by famously saying: “If it could save a person’s life, would you find a way to shave ten seconds off the boot time?” The time was cut down to 28 seconds! Consciously slipping into the unconscious to keep the flow allows you to stay in the zone and use your skills to the utmost.
How to use our feelings to become more resilient and build up our emotional Intelligence? Here are a few tips:
1- Identify your negative emotions – Once you are aware and have labeled your feelings, refrain from reacting immediately, and withdraw yourself from the situation. Do not make assumptions or decisions. Include empathy in your response.
2- Evaluate your behaviors and thoughts. Objectively – Question your intentions, motives, reactions, communications, whether you are rational or fair. Overall look into yourself from a bird’s eye view. Self-examination brings out humility, which is a requisite to build emotional Intelligence.
3- Communicate clearly – Conveying your thoughts with clarity and in a socially acceptable way is one of the components of Emotional Intelligence. Be an active listener, have an appropriate tone, mind your body language, eye contact, be respectful, and have a confident and friendly attitude, which are essential to reducing good communication errors.
4- Stress management – Introduce strategies to help you cope with stress and burnouts. The best ways to reduce the impact of stress and fatigue are to exercise, splash water on your face, go out in nature, learn and practice relaxation techniques, most importantly, be positive and confident.
5- Practice empathy – every day, try a random act of kindness, look at a situation from another perspective, make no judgment
A winner’s mentality has perseverance, builds on good habits, and takes action. It learns from criticism, and it does not allow situations and people to define the individual. A winning mindset sees challenges as an opportunity and focuses on things that it can control. It is grateful, looks for solutions, is curious, flexible, and optimistic.
Write down your skills and talents and scan through your knowledge-based, technical skills as well as your traits. Identify your core competencies and re-examine them by taking into account their relevancy, competitiveness, and application. Hone your skills and make use of them unapologetically.
Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.
Self-encouragement is to believe that you can overcome challenges and focus on what you have accomplished. Therefore develop a system to boost up your self-confidence to face adversity and obstacles. Through affirmations to rewarding yourself, it puts an effective mechanism in place to build yourself up instead of tearing yourself down.