Did you know that on average, people in the UK spend 8 hours or more per day in front of a screen and to avoid missing out on a second of this screen time, 75% of us take our phones to the bathroom! In our rapidly evolving techno environment, these stats may not be a surprise to you, but should they be of concern?
Standing in a room with a group of like-minded women; arms outstretched, ready to take on the world, a powerful scene is emerging. Big smiles can be seen around the room with an acknowledgement that with simple power poses, you can instantly regain control of your situation. All that is needed now is an uncompromising ‘no’ to be proclaimed and there we have it, the chance to ‘own the no’ and start our resilience journey. But how can women successfully reach a resilient state with the constant pressures of everyday life knocking on the door?
Delivering a bite-sized version of my Personal Resilience for Women session to a group at Standard Chartered Bank recently, we discussed what resilience means to female professionals today and what some of the biggest resilience challenges are. One of the challenges identified by the group was the failure to keep emotion out of negative situations. For example, if a recent project is criticised then the tendency is to take it personally which can be very destructive for your frame of mind. Improving mental toughness so you can ‘roll with the punches’ and overcome what the world throws at you is a much needed skill. But how do we achieve this?
As I scroll through the newspaper headlines on the BBC website, I could (almost) kiss the journalists from the Daily Mail who have reported on a recent study carried out by scientists that supports what I have always known to be true; how we deal with stress will affect our long term health.
‘The Study found that it wasn't the amount of stress a person was dealt each day that made the biggest impact, but how they dealt with the stress…in the short-term, with illness or exercise, the body experiences a high immune response to help repair itself. However, in the long term, chronic inflammation can undermine health, and appears to play a role in obesity, heart disease and cancer’ Daily Mail 10th June 2015
“Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes.” Psychology Today
I think it’s fair to say that I’ve had my share of knocks over the years. Falling out with my boss despite being recognised as a talented individual in my field, started the ball rolling. But what then followed was a cascade of life-changing heartbreaks. The loss of a baby, divorce, the tragic death of parents to accidental death and suicide meant I had no choice but to develop strategies to deal with these challenges and find my way out of the ashes.