Prevention is better than cure when it comes to mental health issues. Be proactive by becoming more resilient
Over the past few years, we have seen a paradigm shift in how mental health at work is perceived, with placing greater emphasis being placed on developing and sustaining mental wellbeing.
Becoming more mentally resilient could be one of the most important things you will ever do. Here are some key tips:
- Set the right goals
Setting and meeting realistic goals can boost confidence and increase self-belief. But setting the goal isn’t enough, as sometimes we realise halfway through that we’re struggling to meet the demands, and this can be detrimental to our performance and mindset.
As such, you should consider setting process and performance-based goals. One strategy is to set a time frame, while another is to break down the task into simple processes that will serve as smaller goals.
Achieving these smaller goals will facilitate a positive mindset and enable you to maintain the inner drive to reach your overall target.
- Keep your self-talk positive
Work can be stressful; there’s no getting around that. This means that any number of negative emotions and thoughts can sometimes occupy the mind. Positive self talk should help to replace that negative thinking. For example, “I feel as though I won’t complete this task” should be replaced with “I’m going to complete this task within the time frame I’ve set”.
Positive self-talk enables the neural pathways in the brain to function with greater positivity. Stress prompts the release of cortisol, which can hamper your thought processes, inhibiting decision-making.
Embracing the situation with positive self-talk and controlled breathing, for example, allows you to reset the autonomic nervous system and strengthen the immune system, helping the psychological and biological systems to become more robust in stressful situations.
If you can change the conversation that you have with yourself and reframe any
negative thoughts, you can build a healthier outlook.
- Plan for setbacks
It’s important to re-centre yourself and regain focus after a setback, as opposed to dwelling on the problem. We can’t control the external events that happen around us, but we can control what we do afterwards. It’s a good idea to have a plan in place that will help you to adapt when things don’t go according to plan. Remember you can only control the controllable.
- Be grateful for what you have
Gratitude is all about appreciating what you have instead of just reaching for something new in the hope that it will make you happier. Research shows that being grateful increases your mental strength and boosts levels of the hormone DHEA, which slows the ageing process, improves sports performance, promotes weight loss and bolsters the immune system. This is a core ingredient in feeding your resilience.
- Take action
Instead of running away from the causes of stress, make a conscious decision to face up to problems whenever possible.
The two most important tools and strategies for building your mental toughness are without a doubt self-awareness and acceptance. In order to build, enhance and improve our existing mental toughness, we must be aware of ourselves and accept that this is where we are at. Only then can we can start to take steps towards a stronger, healthier mental state.