Are you looking to go from strength to strength in your personal and professional life? If you work at Broadgate, our weekly self-development ‘how to’ workshops will move you from a state of surviving, to thriving, in all areas of life. Lead by Chis Hardy, Associate at Work Well Being, one of our event partners, the topics cover everything from building resilience to mastering your inbox and practicing the art of self-reflection.
Chris has pulled together just some of the many practices he shares in the classes, which will help you become more resilient, meaning you’ll be better able to bounce back when challenged, and feel less stressed and overwhelmed when in the office. These are small changes you can make to your everyday habits that will have a big impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
Why do we ned to cultivate resilience?
With the increasing demands of the modern workplace, the hyper-connectivity of our smartphones, and endless opportunities for entertainment, our lives can quickly become off balance. We become stressed and anxious, easily irritable or overly emotional, and work (and life) can, at times, simply feel overwhelming. An astonishing 75% of us reported that, at some point in 2018 we felt so stressed and overwhelmed that we simply couldn’t cope (www.mentalhealth.org.uk).
It’s easy to get caught up in habits and routines that are not necessarily good for our health or wellbeing. We grit out teeth, put up with situations, and think that we just have to ‘toughen up’ or ‘get through’.
What are the advantages of being resilient?
- You are better able to bounce back from challenges:
Work and life are full of unexpected challenges, mishaps, upsets and last minute change of plans. Being resilient means you are not thrown off course when setbacks happen. You take them in your strideand you’re emotionally capable of dealing with what life throws at you.
- Work becomes more enjoyable:
Remember those days when work actually felt fulfilling? Resilience means you can appreciate and enjoy your work more. You feel more relaxed and capable, you’re more open to receiving praise and you will also be a better leader noticing the hard work others are putting in and giving them appreciation and positive feedback.
- Resilience makes your smarter:
With a calm and focused mind, a relaxed body and a compassionate and patient emotional landscape you are far better at making decisions, taking action and thinking clearly. Resilience means, when things get tough, you’re the leader or employee who is still making wise calls and helps pull the ship through.
Resiliency Strategy 1 - Being mindful of your breathing
If you only learn one resilience technique, learn this one. We hear a lot about mindfulness today, but what exactly does it mean and how can it help?
Mindfulness is a kind of meditation practice where you place your attention onto certain aspects of your immediate experience. For example, to become mindful of your breath simply means to place your attention on it; listen to it, feel it, be aware of its length and depth and of how your body moves as you breath.
The key steps are:
- Deep breath in…
- And then deep breath out…
- Take your time and do it once more.
- Deep breath in all the way to the bottom of your lungs… and then slowly exhaling.
It may seem simple, but being aware of your breath throughout the day could be your core resilience-building practice and could, if done well, transform your life. Why? When we feel stressed or overwhelmed our body triggers a physical and chemical response. Adrenaline and cortisol are released, our body become tense, breath is shortened, muscles are charged with glucose, we become hyper-vigilant and focus is sharpened. In short, we’re ready to either fight or flight.
When we lived on the savannas of Africa this was a valid response that saved our lives. When we receive a difficult email… well, we might understandably feel frustrated or nervous, but the full-blown stress response is not completely necessary. In these moments of stress - when we receive challenging news, we’re put on the spot, or we feel overwhelmed - we can turn to our breath, breathing in deeply through the nose, and out through the mouth. Breathing deeply with an extended exhalation stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system. This part of your system is responsible for rest, relaxation, digestion and cell rejuvenation. It’s the opposite end of the spectrum to the stress response and it naturally calms and restores balance to the mind. You also give yourself a pause, a moment to compose yourself before responding.
Victor Frankle, author of ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ wrote, "Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Other benefits of deep breathing:
- Heart beat is slowed
- Blood pressure stabilised
- You feel more energised
- Improved oxygenation
- Mood elevation
- Induces feelings of happiness
In our upcoming ‘how to’ classes, Chris will cover the following practices:
- Establishing proper boundaries with technology
- Ensuring you get enough good quality sleep
- Learning how to master your Inbox
- How to work with focus in our world of constant distraction
Our ‘how to’ classes, lead by Chris, are designed to equip you with your own toolbox of resilience practices. You’ll learn new and useful habits that will change your life, helping you sleep better, feel more refreshed and confident, subsequently transforming the way you work to become the healthy, happy and engaged team member you want to be.
These classes are open exclusively to those who work in our buildings at Broadgate. Find out more about the individual upcoming classes and reserve your place, CLICK HERE.