Five Ways to Build Resilience During Mental Health Month

Some links on this site are affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I thank you for your support.

May is mental health month, and since anxiety and stress levels are so high, I asked world-renowned resilience expert Andrew Shatte, Ph.D. to offer us some resilience tips. Dr. Shatte is the Chief Science Officer at meQuilibrium and the founder and President of Phoenix Life Academy, a company that specializes in measuring and training in resilience. He is a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Executive Education, a former professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and currently serves as a research professor in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona. Dr. Shatté has published prolifically in peer-reviewed journals and is the co-author of
The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles.

Photo by Natalie on Pexels.com

Resilience Skills Help to Navigate Crisis, Avoid Worst-Case Thinking

Mental Health Month has been observed for over 50 years, but this year it is especially important to raise awareness of ways to improve mental health and increase resilience. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 19.1% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2018 (47.6 million people). However, the worry, isolation, and anxiety associated with Coronavirus is something that literally everyone may experience.

Mental Health Month has been observed for over 50 years, but this year it is especially important to raise awareness of ways to improve mental health and increase resilience.

Resilience is a crucial skill we need to thrive in uncertain times, says meQuilibrium, the leading digital employee resilience solution. Resilience represents the ability to rebound productively in challenging situations and it has a strong protective effect against anxiety. In today’s anxiety-ridden environment, those who possess adaptive capabilities will be better equipped to handle the psychological toll. meQuilibrium’s scientific research has shown that highly resilient people are 28% more able to adapt to changing circumstances.

“People are experiencing heightened levels of uncertainty and anxiety from COVID-19,” says Andrew Shatte, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, meQuilibrium and a world-renowned resilience expert. “The human brain is wired for the negative and it’s natural for us to be worried about the future. However, instead of anxious feelings getting in the way, we can take productive steps to be in problem-solving mode rather than worry and stress mode.”

The human brain is wired for the negative and it’s natural for us to be worried about the future. However, instead of anxious feelings getting in the way, we can take productive steps to be in problem-solving mode

Learning to recognize responses to stress, emotional strain, and exhaustion provide the foundation for resilient self-management. Even small improvements in individual cognitive performance can make a positive impact on emotional distress. meQuilibrium offers these steps to build simple resilience practices in your daily routine:

Keep your emotions in check

Coronavirus has our brains pinging on “future threat,” driving global anxiety and shared fear. Stay calm and work to keep your emotions in check, particularly anxiety, which will take center stage. Work to catch those anxious thoughts before they spiral, and reframe them into more realistic, probable outcomes.

Remain realistic

People will begin to catastrophize in this extreme situation. It’s a natural response that’s rooted in self-preservation. But when you focus on the worst-case scenario, you allot the majority of your energy to worrying about something that has only a small chance of happening and not devoting any resources to the negative things that are very likely to happen. At the same time, there may be other possible outcomes and choices at your disposal that you’re not seeing.

When you focus on the worst-case scenario, you allot the majority of your energy to worrying about something that has only a small chance of happening and not devoting any resources to the negative things that are very likely to happen.

Adaptability is key

Make informed adjustments based on the information you have. Limit the amount of energy spent on speculation. Use mindfulness to stay in the moment. Every day, take a moment to pause, breathe deeply, and focus. We can exert most control over today, this moment. Using simple breathing mindfulness techniques or meditation will serve to bring us back to the present, calm the mind, and reduce the high level of stress that we are all feeling now.

Every day, take a moment to pause, breathe deeply, and focus. We can exert most control over today, this moment.

Practice gratitude

Coronavirus is a new threat and coping with new threats requires strength and energy. So give yourself some credit. Remember to end each day with a measure of gratitude that you successfully navigated the world around you, and let this positivity build on itself. You have the power to care for your physical and mental health; don’t let anxiety control your well-being.

Coronavirus is a new threat and coping with new threats requires strength and energy. So give yourself some credit. Remember to end each day with a measure of gratitude that you successfully navigated the world around you

Prevent

When individuals recognize their own habitual patterns and begin to manage stress in healthier ways, healthier behavior and interactions spread, in what we can consider a positive network effect. We become better equipped in our interactions, even under stress, and better able to support one another.

“Resilience helps people respond to change more effectively by managing their minds and emotions in high stress, adverse situations,” explains Dr. Shatté. “People who can quickly switch gears from threatened to productive, can navigate this challenging time more effectively.”

Visit meQuilibrium to read more about how to address uncertainty and anxiety with resilience.

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

Published by Nicole Roder

Writer Nicole Roder lives in Bowie, Maryland with her husband, Matt, their children, Emma, Sophia, Raymond, and Gianni. And Lucy–their fiercely terrifying, 20-pound Boston Terrier who protects their home from some ubiquitous danger only she can see. When she’s not busy composing her next great work of fiction, she’s wiping bottoms, dancing in her kitchen, singing in her minivan, building lego castles, wrapping feather boas around her neck, and driving all over God’s creation. AKA–mothering her children.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: