The existential questions caught my attention as I skimmed through the pages of Resilience and Why things Bounce Back by Andrew Zolli. “What causes one system to break down and another to rebound? Are we merely subject to the whim of forces beyond our control? Or, in the face of constant disruption, can we build better shock absorbers- for ourselves, our communities, our economies, and for the planet as a whole?” As the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland kicks off this week, Resilience (and perhaps Stress management) would be one of the discourses among Global Leaders. We would imagine the organizers would be wise to add mindfulness practice breakaway sessions, as we know our leaders are biased for action, right? Zen Buddhists hold that the entirety of human suffering can be boiled down to this effort to resist paying full attention to the way things are going because we wish they were going differently.
According to the American Psychological Association, nearly 25 percent of Americans report experiencing high stress, and 50 percent report experiencing regular moderate stress. Changing our relationship with stress may be one of the strategies that can help us boost our ability to bounce back from life’s challenges and be more resilient in our fast-paced, adrenaline rush, and hyper-connected world. “When we focus on what we can control and ignore what we can’t, we find more courage and faith to continue.” Yet even the hardiest individuals cannot go it alone- our resilience is rooted in the groups and communities in which we live and work.
Steps to engage in Stress Management and Building Resilience (The List is not exhaustive!)
- Setting goals based on your core values and Purpose
- Mindfulness Practice
- Extreme Self-care
- Healthy Coping Skills
- Meaningful connection with others
- Having a proactive Worldview (Wisdom!)
Many of us think of Stress as negative and something to be avoided. Reframe your perception. Harness the power of stress as performance energy (eustress). As the Yoruba proverb goes, “Onisuri ni nfun wara kinihun”- it takes patience and resilience to successfully milk the Lioness. Don’t give up!
Reference- Resilience Why Things Bounce Back by Andrew Zolli & Ann M Heally