Resilience in the Workplace: A Mental Strength Guide

Learn how to build resilience at the workplace. Use these expert tips and ideas for building employee and team resilience in the workplace.

Resilience in the Workplace: A Mental Strength Guide
A Mental Strength Guide

We often hear athletes and coaches talk about resilience. But resilience isn’t just relevant in sports; it’s a crucial trait in modern workplaces, and its importance has only grown since the pandemic. According to a global workplace study conducted last year by ADP Research Institute, only 15% of the 26,000 participating employees were found to be highly resilient.

A lot of us find our jobs the most challenging part of our lives. Work pressure, sharp deadlines, and work-life balance often make us call for a timeout. This makes resilience at the workplace critical.

In this article, we will share some tips you can use to become mentally resilient at work. But first, let’s learn the meaning of resilience.

What is resilience?

In simple words, it is the ability to handle setbacks in personal and professional life with the right attitude. Being resilient at the workplace helps manage challenges, quickly recover from them, and improve in the process.

What is resilience?
What is resilience?

Building resilience at the workplace needs effort and time but without the right guidance, it is hard to build resilience. That's why leaders and managers have a critical role to play in building resilience.

Tips to become resilient

Below are some tips that will help you become more resilient:

Manage stress

Stress is an inseparable part of corporate life. But too much of it can impact performance as well as resilience at the workplace. Every person is different and hence there is no one-size-fits-all approach to stress management.

Here are some resilience exercises that can help you beat stress. Counting from 10 to 1, taking deep breaths, or drink water are some easy ways to manage stress quickly. Need another tip? Give yourself some time to reassess the situation before reacting to a stress situation. A pause will greatly put things in perspective!

Practice mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness is thought to help keep stress at bay.  No wonder managers, leaders, and HRs are always motivating their teams to practice mindfulness for building resilience in the workplace.  

You can introduce your employees to mindfulness through workshops or through websites or apps that help them become more aware and present. The regular practice of mindfulness helps in improving problem-solving skills as well.

Practice mindfulness
Practice mindfulness

Develop a positive mindset

Many times, negative thoughts crop up in our minds in the office. Shifting your thinking from negative to positive is also a part of building resilience as it allows us to function with the right mindset.

Imagine the management has made a decision about your team and you disagree with it. You may feel disrespected or you may feel they don’t care about your opinions. This resilience tip will help you overcome negative emotions and start a productive discussion with the management.

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Be kind when comparing yourself to others

Is it okay to compare yourself with others? Yes, as long as it’s done positively. The skill of directing kindness, mindfulness, and forgiveness in your direction help in checking harsh self-criticism and also comparison with others. It can also help in building resilience at the workplace as it helps overcome difficult emotions and find new sources of motivation. Here’s a positive self-comparison hack.

When you notice yourself comparing yourself with someone at work, take the focus off the other person and direct it on yourself. Are you more focused toward your work than last week or month? Focusing on a tangible self-improvement metric helps you stay positive and improves your resilience.

Note down your strengths
Note down your strengths

Focus on your strengths

In the absence of personal motivation and professional appreciation, most of us start developing negative thoughts which adversely impacts our resilience at work. When this happens, it’s time to focus on your strengths. Start by noting down your strengths and accomplishments in the previous quarter or year.

Also, identify your weaknesses and motivate yourself to address them. Focusing on your strengths and getting rid of weaknesses can greatly help in slowly building resilience in the workplace.

Take short breaks

Focusing on productivity is very crucial to stay motivated towards work. Most of us can work 90 to 120 minutes with full mental focus and clarity. After that, the distractions kick in and impact performance, eventually affecting our resilience as well. That’s why it is important to take short breaks from your desk to reset your focus and replenish your energy.

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Emotional regulation

The ability to watch, recognise, and respond to emotions effectively without any frustration helps in building a strong emotional regulation process. The same also helps in building resilience in the workplace.

Building strong emotional regulation allows us to keep working through a wide variety of internal experiences including the difficult ones. Whenever you feel mentally or emotionally low, take some deep breaths and think twice before responding to a workplace issue. Here’s a tip to support better emotional regulation. Rather than holding on to painful emotions, let them go.  While some feel lighter after talking to a close friend, others choose to invest in carriers of happiness like food and workout. Pick what works for you!  

Focus on physical wellbeing
Focus on physical wellbeing

Focus on physical wellbeing

Employees who get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night are more likely to be resilient at the workplace. However, proper sleep is not the only way to stay physically fit.

Physical wellbeing is a major part of building resilience in the workplace. By focusing on some simple tips, you can improve your physical well-being. Follow the below tips to boost your physical wellbeing and resilience levels:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat healthily
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol

Resilience at the workplace: Final words

We hope that the above insights will help you master the art of resilience and perform better in the workplace. Please note that resilience can’t be mastered overnight. It requires consistent efforts and commitment. That’s why we recommend taking baby steps toward it.

Are you interested in resilience and wellbeing at work? Learn about employee wellbeing retreats and why businesses are investing in them.

Also, check out our recent blogs:

Physical symptoms of work stress.

Tips to avoid distractions at work.

Tips to improve employee satisfaction in 2022.