Resilience: how to train your psychological immune system

Want to emerge from crises feeling empowered? Want to use conflicts, stress and problems as an opportunity to grow? To do this, you need resilience – in other words, you have to be “mentally strong”. This is something you can train and work on at any age. We’ll show you how.

Mavie editorial team22/09/2022

Resilience: how to train your psychological immune system

Resilience is a term used to describe the way in which we human beings cope with crises. But the question is – how can you learn to take a more effective and stress-free approach to dealing with difficult situations? Here are three ideas.

Acceptance + optimism = a boost of energy

You’ve lost a loved one. There's been a fire in your home. Your termination at work is presenting you with financial challenges. Whatever the crisis may be, the first step in overcoming it is wholeheartedly accepting what has happened. That does, of course, take some time. There’s no condensing these stages of grief and despair – you simply have to ride them out until you reach a point where you’re able to accept your “new normal”. At the same time, it’s also important to stay optimistic that you’ll find a solution to your problem. This combination – acceptance and optimism – frees up energy, allowing you to look to the future and leaving you better equipped to answer the questions “How do I regain control over my life?” and “What am I expecting?”.

Self-analysis: what thoughts are preventing you from gaining new ground?

Is there something about your current situation that you’re keen to change? What’s making it so difficult for you to express how you want things to be in the future? Why should everything go back to or stay the way it was? At Mavie Work, we call these “intrusive thoughts”, i.e. thoughts that are standing in our way. Identify thoughts that are getting in the way of your search for solutions. Examples of intrusive thoughts include: “My colleague definitely won’t agree”, “It’s not financially viable”, etc.

Use hypothetical situations to discover new paths and find solutions

The following tool, used in the coaching arena, helps you become more resilient and emerge from a crisis feeling empowered. Formulate hypotheses: “what if...?” Suppose your colleague agrees with your proposal: how would you then go about implementing it? What if the budget is available after all? What would you be able to change? The hypothesis method helps you build your resilience for the following reason: it’s only when we let our thoughts run free that we come up with solutions that we’d never before considered.

Boost your resilience by stepping out of the victim role

Although the role of victim serves as a form of self-preservation for a time, at some point, you need to bite the bullet and take responsibility for your own actions. And, in actual fact, a decision in favour of one thing is ultimately a decision against another. That’s something you have to battle with first. You can never please everyone. But: uncomfortable decisions can ultimately earn you respect and esteem. Employees who can rely on managers to quickly make decisions and then stand by them have more support and direction. By the same token, managers also find it easier to work with employees who don’t beat about the bush.

Strengthening resilience with plan B, C and D

Upstream crisis management boosts resilience. Devising a sound and meticulous plan for the future, considering a plan B and C, is a good tool for dealing with the vicissitudes of life.

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Our Mavie Counsellors will help you with professional and private issues. Get in touch and make an appointment for a personal counselling (assuming your company has a contract with Mavie). Call our hotline on +43 1 585 388 1 or email:
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