Carl Williams , Director of Williams Talent Management Consulting
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to mental health issues. Be proactive by helping your friends, family and team members become more resilient
Helping one another become more mentally resilient could be one of the most important things you will ever do . It may well improve an individual’s wellbeing and even the health of the people around you, and the best way to go about it is by passing on some specific mental skills. Here are some key tips to share:
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.
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 selftalk should help to replace that negative thinking. For example, “I feel as though I won’t complete this task” should be replaced with “I’mgoing 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.
It’s important to recentre 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, and managers who facilitate this kind of thinking tend to get better overall performance from their teams.
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.
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.
Find out more about the IMI-approved foundation course in mental toughness, resilience and emotional wellbeing from Positive Ed Ltd and Williams Talent Management Consulting
This is an edited extract from IMI’s MotorPro magazine, received free as part of IMI membership. Time to find out more about becoming a member of the most influential community in UK automotive…?