Resilience and Mental Health

Most of us get taught quite early on that the way to succeed in life is to have a job, we should work to provide for our needs, then we must work to provide for our family whilst working to provide for ourselves in retirement. For most this is true although the tide seems to be turning in the developed world and people are beginning to question the notion of working for others or for a boss in order to obtain wealth, some are seeking more and more opportunities to work for themselves and be in control of their own working life as more workers are showing stress and anxiety symptoms from their working life.


Even with the changes of thought and more people working from home the toll of working still has a heavy price for most of us who have to work to provide for ourselves and those we care for. One thing that we as humans are formed with is resilience however the work place and the duties which we are responsible for sometimes mean that we need to rebuild our resilience to take care of ourselves effectively in the work place.


Resilience means flexibility and to a degree toughness and resistance. When we were children we automatically looked for resources which could provide us with tools to help us grow and achieve through our growing stages. We would watch and learn from others and situations which would help us get through difficult or challenging times. In fact these resources were in part provided by family friends and our community at large, to ensure that we would survive and to protect us. Children who were in situations where protection was limited would draw on their resilience in order to survive or overcome difficult conditions.  Resilience has been called by Fongay et al “Normal development under difficult conditions”


When we become adults and enter the adult life of work we often must spend times in an environment that can be non protective and where there is adversity and we can at times be vulnerable, for some the stress and anxiety symptoms are indicators that all is not well. Most times our automatic human instinct for resilience kicks in but sometimes it might not be enough. However sometimes we do not have the resources to build resilience in this situation or more time is needed to require the skills to deal with the situation and this can lead to stress, which can lead to underperformance or other stress related issues.


By looking at some of the things which creates resilience in children we can begin to see that borrowing some of the protective factors might help people dealing with work place stress and for  effective stress relieving techniques.

You can boost your levels of individual resilience by ensuring that these major factors known to support children in early stages are in place


1.       Secure attachments- if you do not have close attachments, family or friends this could reduce your coping mechanisms

2.       Disposition of temperament- your emotional wellbeing has a lot to do with how you interact with others, deal with situation, how you  are thinking about things etc

3.       The wider community- external supports will aid your ability to deal with work issues and release tensions

A Stress Management Tip

If you are worried about your ability to cope with a work place situation take some time to check out these 3 resilience factors in your life and see how they are working for you. Consider giving them a boost in the areas which might be a little neglected.

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