Practical Strategies for Increasing Mental Resilience in the Workplace
When it comes to overcoming challenges in the workplace, the right mindset is only half the battle. Learn these practical strategies for building mental resilience and make a daily habit of cultivating your inner strength.
Set milestone goals
Often the workplace focus is on end goals. Big ticket items like quarterly profit margins or shipping major products tend to hold our attention most. But is this a good mentality in the workplace?
Long term goals might set the strategic direction of the company, but they don’t necessarily account for the mental well being of staff, particularly when challenges setback timelines and test our commitment to the cause.
Chunk it down
When you only focus on big goals, you’re likely to draw heavily on personal willpower and inner strength to get through the daily tasks.
Because the time between setting the goal and achieving it is distant, you tend to ignore the many steps you take on the road to success, leaving you feeling worn out and deflated.
Instead, set daily targets that you can cross off your list. These milestone achievements create more immediate purpose, and by chunking big projects down into smaller targets, you’re building inner resilience, rather than exhausting it.
You don’t need to be a yogi to be mindful. At its core, the practice of mindfulness is about cultivating inner reserves of mental resilience and fortitude, and conquering the daily chaos of our lives.
Through guided meditations, exercise and body scans, mindful practice can offer the following benefits:
- Increased clarity and concentration
- Resilience to challenges
- Mental fortitude and confidence
- Healthier, happier mindset
Mindfulness is clarity, and clarity is one of the most important aspects of mental fortitude.
Within the workplace, mindfulness can help team members overcome obstacles both personal and within the team. When the pressure is on, mindful staff are better able to handle the stress of change, and when the going gets tough, the mindful staff member rises to the challenge.
Improving mindfulness: download the Calm app
Billed on iTunes as the #1 mindfulness and meditation app, Calm is all about empowering you to be mindful in your day to day. App benefits include:
- Meditation made easy with preconfigured daily programs.
- More comfortable sleeps with ‘sleep stories’.
- Mindfulness reminders in your pocket, wherever you go.
If you struggle with mindfulness, or just want an audio primer to help you get started, this app comes strongly recommended, with a number of powerful features to help you overcome challenges and move on from conflict.
Live outside your comfort zone
In most workplaces there’s a natural inclination towards routine and comfortable work, particularly where the culture is risk averse or doesn’t reward innovation.
Routine and comfort can be the antithesis of resilience. Think about it, if you’re comfortable in your daily routine, even a small interruption of challenge can upset the apple cart.
Just like going to the gym helps you build physical muscle, stepping out of your comfort zone every day can help you become more resilient and cultivate inner strength. By empowering yourself outside your usual routine, you’re developing skills that will aid you (and your team) when the chips are down.
Control your context
Our brains are exposed to around 11 million bits of information per second, yet we can only process a fraction of that.
In real terms, we lose productivity when switching too frequently between too many tasks and contexts. This can break down our mental toughness and lead to feelings of frustration and hopelessness.
Taking control of your context means framing your work day as a series of tasks. This includes:
- Checking email at specific times
- Blocking out your calendar for appointments and work sessions
- Putting phone on voicemail
- Setting aside ‘blocks’ or ‘chunks’ of time to achieve specific tasks.
Taking control of your context as best as you can will help filter out unnecessary ‘white noise’ and keep you focused on goals that matter.
Multitasking is actually a bit of a myth, particularly when it relates to complex tasks. Trying to focus on too many things at once can eat away at your inner resilience. According to the American Psychological Association, multitask switching accounts for up to 40% loss in productivity for the average office worker.
It’s better for both your mental well-being and productivity to focus on solving complex tasks one at a time. When you need to switch tasks, a small break can help you hang gears and refocus without too much stress.
Cultivate compassion and empathy
Cultivating compassion, for both coworkers and yourself, is a powerful tool for developing the inner strength needed to handle crisis.
According to the University of Berkeley’s Greater Good Research Centre, compassion across cubicles increases cooperation and inspiration, leading to a work environment that is excited by new challenges and resilient in the face of adversity.
Compassionate people demonstrate empathy towards their colleagues, affording them better judgement in times of crisis and creating a positive environment that builds a buffer between stress events and mental reserves needed to overcome them.
Focus on the positives
Challenges in the workplace can take many forms, from conflict and poor results to unexpected problems that need solving.
A positive outlook takes into account that challenges are a part of life. Rather than avoid them, lean into these challenges as learning experiences. Use the strategies you’ve learned above to build inner strength, and meet challenges in life and work head on, confident in you ability to overcome.
Uplift Events run exciting, unique and fun team building activities that will increase team cooperation, motivation and productivity. Take a look at our range of indoor or outdoor event opportunities to see which one would suit your team and needs.
Contact Uplift Events for a FREE QUOTE for your next team event.