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3 Proactive Strategies for Stress Management and Resilience Building to Improve Your Wellbeing

Updated: Jul 25, 2023



Most of us have experienced pressure and stress at various times in our lives, whether through work, school or in our personal life. How we recognise and handle this stress is down to our resilience.


What is resilience? Well, it isn't quite 'bouncing back', as that implies nothing has happened or changed; nor is it really 'bouncing forwards', as that implies you must have grown or moved on, when in reality some events may leave a lasting impression on your life and change you forever.


Positive psychology defines resilience as the ability to cope and adapt when faced with challenges or adversity. It includes knowing how to manage stress, anxiety and low mood, as well as solve problems, regulate emotions and keep a level head in a crisis.

We rarely think of ourselves as 'resilient' though and often underestimate our ability to keep going when times get tough. Often because of our emotional reaction to a stressful event. But people who are resilient still get upset, angry, disappointed, anxious and frustrated. The only difference is they know how to deal with those feelings when they arise and get back on track.


The good news is resilience can be learned. It involves developing thoughts, behaviours, and actions that allow you to recover from traumatic or stressful events in life.


In my experience, there are three proactive things you can do that help increase resilience and manage stress.

  1. Know yourself and others

  2. Improve your wellbeing

  3. Learn to change your mindset


Here are some practical things you can do to start building your resilience today;



1. Know Yourself and Others

Learn to recognise signs of stress, anxiety or low mood in your body or habits. This may include poor sleep, low energy, headaches or shoulder pain, shutting people out, less socialising, more negative self-talk, anger and blowing up over small things, poor behaviour, lack of hope, and reliance on unhelpful coping mechanisms such as alcohol, drugs or food. If you aren't aware of the signs yourself, ask a loved one to help you spot them.




Ask yourself;

  • How did I feel when I have been stressed in the past?

  • Where in my body did I feel stressed?

  • What did I do more or?

  • What did I do less of?

  • What coping mechanisms did I use?

  • What triggers stress in me?


2. Improve Your Wellbeing The principles of 'Broaden and Build Theory' tells us that when we improve our wellbeing we increase our mental, physical and social resources. This means we generally feel better and more positive, so we are more able to cope when things do go wrong. We also have good strategies to help us feel better, positive memories to draw on and people around us to support us.





Ask yourself;

  • What calms me?

  • What energises me?

  • What fills my heart?

  • What gives me perspective?

  • What connects me to others?

  • What connects me to the natural world?

  • What gives me a sense of meaning and purpose?



3. Learn to Change Your Mindset

Being able tackle unhelpful thoughts and shift your self-talk and thinking patterns from negative to more positive is a key part of resilience. Learn to recognise when you, or others, are; catastrophising, mind-reading, over-generalising, or magnifying and then challenge your thoughts by examining the evidence, likelihood of predictions coming true and what would be a more realistic thought.





Ask yourself;

  • Do I know how to recognise common thought traps? (If no, download my free guide here)

  • What thoughts do I have when I'm stressed?

  • What is the likelihood of my thoughts being true?

  • What evidence do I have?

  • How balanced are my thoughts?

  • Have I considered all perspectives?

  • What is my self-talk like?

  • Will this still bother me in a year's time? Or 5 year's time?

  • Am I hungry, tired, thirsty or unwell? (Sometimes this can impact mindset, mood and perspective!)

  • What would be a more realistic thought?


By working on these three areas you can begin to spot the signs of stress earlier and take action to prevent stress happening. Developing greater self-awareness allows you to tune in to what works for you to increase your personal mental, physical and social resources, improving coping skills. And learning to recognise and challenge negative thoughts and self-talk builds mental strength and fortitude. All of which contribute to higher levels of resilience in the face of adversity, preparing you for whatever the world throws at you!


Remember, working with a qualified professional coach is proven to be a highly effective strategy to manage stress and create positive change in your mindset and behaviour. To find out how I could help you learn to manage stress, overcome burnout, and improve wellbeing, book a free, no-obligation discovery call today by clicking the button below.


 


If you want to find out more about me and how I use positive psychology and coaching in my own life, sign up to my weekly e-newsletter 'The Key to Wellbeing'. In it I share research-based tips, strategies and resources that you can apply to your work and home life to create balance, connection, resilience and confidence. Sign up using the button below.













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