Whether we would like to admit it or not, many of us are walking around carrying unbelievable amounts of stress. In particular and closer to home, many of us experience stress in the South African workplace and there are many reasons for this. Whatever the reasons may be, one thing is clear. Our attempts at stress management and building resilience need to be stepped up.

It could be related to the structure in a working environment. For that matter, the explosion of digital and social media technology also means that workloads have increased and that we need a digital transformation in the industry. Be it an unreasonable workload, tense office environments or a lack of recognition, whatever the case may be, each of us experience work stress in some shape or form in our lives.

But instead of being broken or shattered when you walk out of yet another meeting, know this. Your circumstances may not change immediately, but you have the power to change how you perceive your world by building resilience at work.
When you have the presence of mind to do this, you will find that it makes a huge difference in your world. As you find ways to practice resilience in greater measure, you will find that you are able to grow your emotional intelligence and add value to the workplace.

What is resilience in the workplace?

The work environment is its own little world which brings along its own set of challenges. Simply put, resilience in the workplace refers to your ability to bounce back from any stress, trauma or pressure that you experience in a working environment. More than that, having resilience in the workplace also refers to your willingness to adapt, embrace new roles and communicate effectively with others.

How do you develop resilience?

There are a number of ways that make building resilience for the workplace easy. Some of them originate from the way in which you think about your life and the stresses that you face. Then there are active practices that you can engage in.
Another way in which to develop resilience is to make careful career choices that will bring you into fields that you care about. For example, you could choose to study within the humanities field and this will help you to make a meaningful contribution to society. If you are looking at developing your resilience while on the job, the humanities field offers you a good return on investment. A carefully considered choice when it comes to your career will help you to develop your people skills, as well as generate and promote your ideas.

Other ways in which you can develop resilience for the workplace:

➢ Hold a compassionate view of yourself. You are always learning, growing and developing
➢ Have the vision to see crises as an opportunity to grow
➢ Commit to always taking positive action
➢ Get enough sleep and exercise (To help you lead a well-balanced and stress-free life.)
➢ Listen and observe before responding to challenges and situations
➢ Anticipate good things. Don’t always be ready for adversity even before it happens.
➢ Understand that people are emotional and human beings who are motivated by a number of things. Not everything is personal.

Why is it important to be resilient?

Being resilient isn’t simply some kind of ‘airy-fairy’ nonsense or a whimsical practice. It is an essential mental tool that you need to survive and thrive in this world. In all reality, the working environment is a microcosm or minor ecosystem of how the world works. In order to prepare for the grander experience of life, it is important to build resilience in solid ways.

Being resilient helps you in the following ways:

➢ It builds your mental muscle and ability to cope with tough situations
➢ Resilience builds your presence of mind
➢ Your compassion increases
➢ Self- confidence is developed and grown
➢ Your emotional intelligence develops

Resilience and stress management

Every work environment generates some kind of stress. While some of it is healthy and can encourage you to compete and challenge yourself, there is also a tipping point. How you respond to that stress is everything. By putting resilience into active practice in your daily work life, you will find that you are able to deal with life’s challenges.
➢ You will have the mental presence of mind to not get swept up into drama.
➢ Compartmentalise things that deserve your attention
➢ The bigger picture – you will begin to not take things personally. In this way you won’t feel hounded or tortured by what others think of you.
➢ On a physical level you will begin to feel a reduction in the fight or flight reaction and hormones that occur as a result of stress.

In a world where work situations and contexts are always evolving, we have to reinvent ourselves continually in order to get ahead. What better way to do so than to get into good practices that will help you build resilience for your journey in the working world. By choosing to be more mindful and resilient, stress and burnout will soon be a long-forgotten memory.

By Laeeka Khan


About the Author
Media professional, senior writer and blogger at Educor Holdings. I blog about matters that relate to education and personal development. I am an out-of-the-box thinker, fascinated with perceptions of the mind’s eye, the power of imagination and creative learning. I am passionate about the human experience, and an avid believer in dialogue, breaking stereotypes, sharing information and the power of the arts. I also appreciate fine coffee and dark chocolate.  Join me on this journey of knowledge and exploration.