Have you ever felt a sense of overwhelm or dread before going into a meeting or a big pitch?
Do you ever come out of meetings feeling angry or frustrated because of feedback someone gave you? Or do you ever put off work or feel paralysed due to stress and anxiety?
These situations are something all professionals will experience at some point in their careers, however our success lies in our ability to cope with and act in spite of these challenges.
The best way to set yourself up to face challenges like this is to focus on building your emotional resilience muscle. Many of us spend a lot of time in the gym building physical resilience, yet we often neglect the less tangible muscle we need to build emotional resilience.
Today, we’ll share three really simple steps you can start implementing to gradually build your emotional resilience.
Step 1: Focus on your heart
Research indicates that our heart has its own intelligence system. It’s not just an organ that pumps blood around our body – in fact it sends more signals to our brain than our brain sends to to our heart.
Focusing on your heart will enable you to get out of your own head and dial down the negative self-talk that holds you back, while also giving you a way to get in touch with how and why you are feeling a certain way.
It’s only through identifying and becoming aware of our feelings that we are able to begin the process of transforming them.
Step 2: Breathe through your heart rhythmically
The next step is to imagine that every breath you’re taking is going through your heart. Breathe in and out deeply and rhythmically – as if you are meditating or doing yoga.
If you are a visual person, it might help to visualise something: as you breathe in and count to four seconds, imagine a ball is going up, and then as you breathe out for four seconds, picture the ball moving down.
It might take some time to figure out how this might work for you – some people prefer to close their eyes, some prefer to do it on the move. However next time you’re in a stressful situation, take a few minutes to start testing this rhythmic breathing technique.
Step Three: Gratitude
At this stage you want to really transform that sense of anxiety, depression, or deflation into something more positive.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to do this is through gratitude. Anger and gratitude are paradoxes so it’s actually physiologically impossible to feel them both at the same time.
Focus on something you truly appreciate and feel grateful for, and you’ll notice those negative feelings slowly transform into something more productive.
Now you might be thinking, “Is that it? Those steps are so simple!” This is true – the three step framework is designed to be simple, easy to implement and effective, for busy people who want to spend time building up their emotional resilience muscle.
This three step process is something you can do when you wake up in the morning to set yourself up for the day, throughout the day if you’re about to go into a challenging meeting or even after a meeting when someone might have said something that frustrated you.
Essentially this framework is there to help you build up emotional resilience, so you are better equipped to respond to situations that trigger your internal stress response.
We dive deeper into the reasons we feel stressed in the first place, and this framework for build in resilience in the video below. We encourage you to take 10 minutes out of your day now to watch the video in full.