Degrees of Resilience

University Launches Mental Health Programme For Its Students, Based On The Military

A Bristol university has set up a new scheme aiming to help new students emotionally acclimatise to adult life.

Image courtesy of Photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

The University of the West of England (UWE) recently created the ‘Emotional Resilience’ programme in response to growing calls for universities across the country to deal with student mental health issues.

A series of workshops and seminars have been introduced at the university and many of these sessions have taken inspiration from ‘Peer-Assisted Learning’ (PAL), a technique commonplace throughout the armed forces.

Glyn Williams, the UWE’s Senior Wellbeing Practitioner told the Bristol Post: “I spent a large part of my career working in the Royal Navy, and the military generally is very keen on the idea of peer-assisted learning for the development of its emotional resilience programme.”

Williams added: “In the military that kind of peer support has always been important, so it became clear to me that a similar framework might work well on campus.

“It’s about recognising that mental health issues aren’t just something that affect a few. Most of us have some sort of mental health issue at some time, which is why we talk about developing the students’ ‘mental wealth’, rather than their mental health. It’s about nurturing their resilience, ideally ahead of a crisis, so they are better armed against the knocks when they come.”

With statistics showing that one in four young people aged between 18 and 25 experience some sort of mental health issue, these sorts of courses are needed now more than ever before.

As the stigma associated with mental health starts to wear off, universities are finally seeing their students become more open to get help through universities themselves. UWE has seen an increase of 20 per cent in the number of students going to the wellbeing team for advice.

The University’s Vice Chancellor, Steve West, explained of his delight in the progress in dealing with mental health.

“The work on emotional resilience at UWE Bristol is absolutely brilliant, particularly in view of the fact that it is run by students and rolled out on a peer-to-peer basis.

“We want to be recognised as a university that does not shy away from tackling serious issues but rather act proactively to support students when they go through difficult times for whatever reason.”

This development comes a fortnight after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn criticised universities for failing to adequately deal with mental health issues among students.

Benjamin Salmon:  http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2016/02/16/university-mental-health-uwe-military-scheme_n_9242688.html

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional resilience and emotional intelligence in business.  She is Author of Emotional Resilience: Know what it takes to be agile, adaptable and perform at your best (published by Pearson Education, 2015 with audiobook recorded by Ei World, 2015).

http://www.eiworld.org

Resilience – The Capacity to Grow Through Challenge and Adversity

stress picENTREVESTOR: Institute promotes resilience as way to flourish

Workplace stress is a common cause of mental illness and distress. A Halifax venture is working to protect the health of workers by increasing their emotional toughness.

The Atlantic Institute for Resilience was founded last year by psychiatrist Dr. Jackie Kinley, the institute’s president and CEO.

Resilience is the capacity to not only endure but to grow through challenge and adversity.

“Resilience can be developed. It has several aspects, including mental, emotional and social,” Kinley said. People need to be mentally strong in order to deal with the complex demands of modern life, she said.

“Emotional resilience enables us to respond, not react. It helps us know our limits and when we need to slow down and relax.

“Low resilience puts people at risk of illness and injury. And we know the immense costs this assumes in human, social and economic terms.”

Kinley and her colleagues are working to boost psychological health and skills through programs they are developing for employees. “By exploring and practising real-life situations in small groups, we aim to create the conditions for participants to develop social and emotional skills such as empathy and the ability to cope with intimacy and conflict,” Kinley said.

“The learning is effective because of the group context. The group acts like a simulator.” The institute’s programs are under development and are only offered part time, as Kinley and her colleagues all work elsewhere. Kinley is an associate professor of psychiatry at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.

Born and raised in Halifax, Kinley comes from a family of physicians. She started out as a family doctor after doing her medical training at Dalhousie but later studied psychiatry at the University of Colorado.

“I wanted to understand what drives people’s behaviour and the social circumstances in which they become ill,” she said.

“I became interested in resilience and in how to create the conditions in which people can flourish.”

She said the skills taught by the institute’s programs work by rewiring participants’ brains so bad habits are lost and new habits take root.

“Brain plasticity, the potential of the brain to change and grow throughout life, is a popular topic right now,” she said. “There is growing awareness concerning the necessity of resilience, but there are few, if any, evidence-based programs that are specifically designed to develop it.”

She stresses that the institute is not offering therapy. “It’s not personal. This isn’t about the past. It’s about how you act in the present.”

Kinley began the institute after she and her colleague, Dr. Daniel Rasic, took part in the Starting Lean program for entrepreneurs, run at Dalhousie University by Ed Leach and Mary Kilfoil.

The institute’s team now includes Dr. Edward Yuzda and three MBA students. Board members include local businesswomen Jane Mitchell and Barbara Campbell.

Kinley stressed that the business is very much in the planning and development phase, and is being built in close association with Dalhousie.

Early financing has been provided by independent private backers.

Kinley sees a lot of potential for growth, as clients and health insurers have already asked if the programs will be offered in other locations. “We hope this will be a new approach to workplace health and will have a broader social impact,” she said.

“It’s destigmatizing. It’s not about illness. It’s about promoting health to prevent illness.”

She said resilience training can return people to their earlier, healthier selves.

“We are born well. We’re born wired a certain way, but we pick up habits of mind and behaviour that don’t serve us; they hinder our performance.

“This is about the science of health and performance. We have the power to engineer ourselves. It’s about building our psychological infrastructure.”

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1328102-entrevestor-institute-promotes-resilience-as-way-to-flourish

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/21804434@N02/5933070337″>Jaume Plensa, Hear No Evil</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional resilience and emotional intelligence in business.  She is Author of Emotional Resilience: Know what it takes to be agile, adaptable and perform at your best (published by Pearson Education, 2015 with audiobook recorded by Ei World, 2015).

http://www.eiworld.org

 

 

Putting Girls First

Indian Girl‘Girls First’ scheme in Bihar bears fruit

EW DELHI: A “resilience” program for 3,500 marginalized adolescent girls in rural Bihar has led to far-reaching results in not just retaining children in school but stopping early marriage and improving their psychosocial health.

 

The “Girls First” program implemented by Corstone India Foundation with the support of David and Lucile Packard Foundation is a first of its kind project integrating evidence-based practises from the fields of positive psychology, social-emotional rearing, restorative justice and emotional intelligence.

The program has now been scaled up to 30,000 boys and girls in 250 schools in partnership with the Bihar Education Project Council.
According to studies emotional resilience increased by 33%, health knowledge by 99%, attitudes about gender equality by 18% while clean water behaviour by 96% between 2013-2014 when the program was conducted. Says class X student Saba Reyaz, “My parents fixed my marriage when I was just 13. I was so hesitant and scared, I won’t have said anything to them had I not been part of this program. But having taken some sessions, I was able to slowly convince my parents not to do so (go ahead with the wedding).”
Corstone executive director Steve Leventhal said, “Our analysis reveals that girls are stopping early marriage, advocating for their education, and standing up to harassment using a combination of many skills learnt in Girls First.” Dr Zoya Ali Rizvi from the health ministry said that despite there being 25 crore adolescents in India, mental health and emotional well-being was a highly untapped area in the nation and there was need to work with partners in the field.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Girls-First-scheme-in-Bihar-bears-fruits/articleshow/50662262.cms

Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/56202607@N02/6576961385″>Innocence</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional resilience and emotional intelligence in business.  She is Author of Emotional Resilience: Know what it takes to be agile, adaptable and perform at your best (published by Pearson Education, 2015 with audiobook recorded by Ei World, 2015).

http://www.eiworld.org

 

How to Remain Emotionally Healthy

Practice Emotional Hygiene

Lisa Mitchell-Bennett www.brownsvilleherald.com

So often we focus on our physical, not emotional health. As a parent I am made to feel that teaching my children dental hygiene is much more important than helping them build emotional resilience.

In fact we provide our kids with knowledge about band aids, seatbelts, stranger danger and the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, but it is rare that we teach them how to be emotionally healthy. In fact most of us adults don’t even know what that means and we take our emotional health for granted until we face a crisis.

Everyone wants to wear pink to support those battling cancer, but there continues to be stigma around mental health issues. I have heard many judgmental comments about people who are depressed or having emotional problems, like it is a weakness of character. Yet there is a scientifically proven connection between emotional and physical health.world

For example, chronic loneliness can cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol, suppress your immune system and can increase your likelihood of early death by 14 percent. That’s about the same risk as smoking, yet cigarettes come with all manner of warnings.

Dr. Guy Winch is a clinical psychologist who focuses on helping people become emotionally resilient, and has coined the phrase “emotional hygiene”. He says that loneliness, negative thoughts and failure can do as much or more damage to the human mind and body as illness and injury. Just as hygiene, hand washing and clean water revolutionized our health outcomes a century ago, he believes emotional hygiene can change our world for the better. He has written books and speaks around the world about the need to focus on our psychological health as we do our physical health, and the clear connection between the two.

So how do we do this? We are not taught this in school. I was never taught by my parents. They were good parents and perhaps modeled some features of emotional wellness, but we never once had a conversation about how to remain emotionally healthy. This doesn’t come up naturally in our culture, and definitely not among men and older folks.

When I talk to my friends and family about taking my kids to a pediatrician for an illness or even for preventive exams, there is no shock at all. But when I mention that I have sought the help of a licensed counselor, for myself and my children, the reaction is shock or a quick change of subject. I’m not sure why the difference, when it is just as important to me that my kids grow up to be independent, well-adjusted, and emotionally healthy, as it is that they are physically healthy.

Just as we have to learn and work hard to make lifestyle changes to be physically healthy, it does take some intentional effort and skill, and sometimes consultation with professionals, to maintain emotional health. This applies to all of us, children and adults. The American Psychological Association recommends some tips for parents summarized below:

Make connections—Teach your child empathy, the importance of friendship, build a strong family network, social support and spiritual connection through a place of worship or in other supportive environments.

Help your child by having him or her help others—Provide kids with opportunities for volunteer work, helping family members and classmates. This is very empowering.

Maintain a daily routine—structure can be comforting and help build a sense of security.

Take a break—Build in unstructured play time, particularly outside, to your schedule every day.

Teach your child self-care –Make yourself a good example, and teach your child the importance of making time to eat well, exercise and rest. Balance will help them better deal with stressful times.

Move toward your goals –Teach your child to set reasonable goals, break them into small steps, and then to move toward them one step at a time.

Nurture a positive self-view—Talk about hard times and how your child has overcome a hardship or survived a hard circumstance. Celebrate successes, and their hard work.

Keep things in perspective and maintain a hopeful outlook –Talk about the future and hopeful, positive goals and events, don’t just focus on the past.

Accept that change is part of living—Talk with your child about changes, and reflect on past changes and how they got through what might have seemed scary at the time.

Winch summarizes these steps well in a quote from a recent Ted Talk: “By taking action when you’re lonely, by changing your responses to failure, by protecting your self-esteem, by battling negative thinking, you won’t just heal your psychological wounds, you will build emotional resilience; you will thrive.”

It’s not always instinctual given the environmental pressures around us, just as eating healthy and exercising isn’t easy. But it’s worth the effort as parents, and as human beings, to care about our minds as much as we do the rest of our bodies, because Tu Salud ¡Si Cuenta! (Your Health Matters!).

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/life/tu_salud/article_42ca86a8-8a43-11e5-871e-eb2254f19cf4.html

Photo credit: <ahref=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/55839512@N08/9879501213″>September 22, 2013 at 10:46AM</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional resilience and emotional intelligence in business.  She is Author of Emotional Resilience: Know what it takes to be agile, adaptable and perform at your best (published by Pearson Education, 2015 with audiobook recorded by Ei World, 2015).

http://www.eiworld.org

 

Don’t Loop on Something Useless

Emotional-FreedomThe Value of Daily Emotional Workouts

Laura Coe:

Last summer my emotional workouts were paying off, life felt easier, freer even in the face of stressful work deadlines or busy, over-scheduled days. But this fall a whole new level of emotional stress came my way, testing the value of emotional resilience training.

Over the summer, I’d wake up and check in with myself.

I always ask the same questions: “Where am I coming from? Am I coming from a good place or somewhere that needs to be investigated?” Or in really basic terms, is my mind filled with any negative thoughts or am I relaxed and centered?

I found this check in to be one of the most valuable moments of my day. Because sometimes a bad night of sleep or a weird dream could kick off my day in the wrong direction. After my check in, I’d get up brush my teeth, shower, dress and spend a few minutes with my family before heading out to work.

When I’d sit down to work, I would check in again. I know it was only 8 a.m., but after rushing to get out of the house, sitting in traffic, being bombarded with emails and text messages, my emotional tailspin could start without my awareness of it.

Most of the time I would realize that I was looping on something useless: an email that rubbed me the wrong way, a task I needed to get done, how Donald Trump said something painfully stupid and now I can’t stay at the Trump Hotels any more.

Whatever was looping in my mind was typically an unconscious choice and slowing zapping my precious energy for the day. My actual goals, what I wanted to get done, were being drowned out by my unconscious mental clamoring.

Emotional Workouts Saved My Life

My emotional workouts saved me from wasteful noise, unwanted mental chatter and brought me back to my real goals. My work productivity went up, but more importantly my happiness went up. The unconscious noise was often stressful. And that stress overtook my happiness, my sense of contentment, throughout the day.

So I would check in… a lot.

Because the more I checked in, the more I lowered risk that my mind had taken off in a direction that I could not come back from, catching the unconscious thought loops early is critical because you aren’t so swept up by your emotions and you can refocus quicker.

We have all done it — gotten so swept up by an unconscious narrative that we cannot remember how we got home because we were completely lost in thought.

But the thoughts were not conscious, not intentional, they were just an old tape we took out and played on auto-repeat.

Unconscious thoughts are like elevator music — they get stuck in your head and never shut up.

How to stop unconscious loops?

  1. Check in a lot
  2. Ask, “Where am I coming from?” “Do I feel stressed, anxious, afraid, sad?”
  3. What is the exact sentence(s) you are repeating? This is key: say the sentence out loud or write it down.
  4. Scan your body. Ask, “How does my body feel?”
  5. Breathe into the stressed part of your body.
  6. Are the thoughts useful or are you just repeating and repeating the same point?
  7. Replace your thoughts or just let the looping thought go. You are wasting your energy.
  8. Write it down if it is a task and do it. This way you won’t forget and you can stop fixating.
  9. Call a friend if something is really upsetting you and you have to get it off your chest.
  10. Focus on what you are doing now. Notice the sounds in your room. Come back to what is going on presently.

But what do you do if none of this works?

I had a great summer. Nothing out of the ordinary was going on.

But this fall has been really difficult. And by difficult I do not mean the kinds of problems that we create by taking on too much. I mean the real kind of difficult — a serious health issue was diagnosed in my family.

What do you do when something is on your mind and it is serious. The world iskicking your ass. You are not just fixated on something that is fixable or self-inflicted?

Here is what I discovered: You have to do the same thing.

Check in. Notice your thoughts. What is looping? Even if it is a real concern, it never helps to worry. When I can’t do anything to make my difficult circumstances better, overthinking is pointless.

So my emotional workouts have tripled. I was working out before as if I was training for a 5K. Now, I upped my workouts because life signed me up for a marathon.

And I cannot stress enough how important it is for me to know what types of emotional stress I create in my life. Some of us worry about what others think, some of us become judgmental, some of us become self-abusive, and others get super angry. Or we flip flop between several emotional states.

If you know your emotional tendency, you can be on alert. Just like if you are dieting and Thanksgiving comes along, you put down the fork when you reach for your second slice of pie. If you are working out emotionally and difficulties come your way, you put down the thoughts when you reach for the same thought over and over.

It’s up to you. Most of us won’t do it because it is hard and it takes time. But if you want to be happier, less stressed, you have to work because life is always moving, throwing us punches, unexpected twists and turns. It’s up to you if you are going to sit down and give up or put up a real fight and workout.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-coe/the-value-of-daily-emotio_b_8441208.html

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional resilience and emotional intelligence in business.  She is Author of Emotional Resilience: Know what it takes to be agile, adaptable and perform at your best (published by Pearson Education, 2015 with audiobook recorded by Ei World, 2015).

http://www.eiworld.org

Emotional Resilience on School Curriculum

Resilience classes aim to improve mental health of a generation

The capacity to thrive in the face of adversity is at the heart of resilience and educators hope teaching students to bounce back will help the mental health of tomorrow’s adults.

What is happening?

unhappy childAccording to the World Health Organisation (WHO), mental illness affects around 20 per cent of the world’s children and adolescents. The organisation further predicts that depression, considered the leading cause of youth suicide, will become the world’s primary health concern in 2020.

Over recent decades, research into emotional resiliency — the capacity “to thrive in the face of adversity” — has promoted understanding about the factors that assist in the development of children into healthy adults. This body of knowledge has filtered into resiliency education programs that are a growing feature of primary and secondary school curriculums around the world.

Why is resilience being taught?

Resiliency programs have largely arisen in response to alarming mental health statistics that exist for children and young people worldwide. Evidence shows such programs are effective in reducing mental health risk factors as well as emotional and behavioural problems, and that by cultivating the ability to “bounce back” from hardship, children learn to live happy, productive lives.

Researchers say all children — advantaged and disadvantaged alike — have the same need for care, self-esteem and autonomy. They say emotional resilience can be taught to everyone, wherever they may appear on the “spectrum of adversity”.

Some say that resiliency education is needed now more than ever before: that young people are uniquely exposed to a faster-paced society; the bombardment of technology, social media and persistent, aggressive marketing strategies; an increase in academic testing and exams, and more family breakdowns.

Where is it happening?

Resilience education features in many schools across Europe, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and the United States. In Britain, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan recently allocated significant funding to projects that focus on resilience, self-confidence and respect. Similarly in Finland, recent reforms of the education system promote character, resilience and communication skills.

In the United States, school resilience programmes have been operating for over a decade; with public debate on the subject invariably reignited after violent incidents, including school shootings. However, while the trend has largely developed in response to mental health concerns, there is evidence that “emotionally literate” children also perform better academically.

One successful initiative adopted by schools across the country and overseas is the “RULER” program. Designed by the Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence, the program has been effective in teaching children how to “recognise, understand, label, express and regulate” their emotions.

What are some benefits of resilience education?

Outcomes of resilience education include improved problem-solving skills; a more optimistic outlook; the ability to set realistic, achievable goals; a healthy sense of independence; social competency and enhanced academic performance. Resiliency in schools has also been found to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, bullying, substance use and aggressive, or reckless behaviour.

By teaching resilience, experts say children learn how to identify, articulate, differentiate and manage their own feelings as well as become more empathetic and sensitive to the feelings of others. Importantly, they come to understand that feelings of disappointment, sadness and frustration are a normal part of life.

What is helpful in building resilience?

Experts say that the most effective schools are those in which the principles of resiliency are embedded within the school culture rather than as stand-alone curriculum additions: schools where strong, supportive connections between staff, students and parents are forged; where empathy, optimism and positive self-image are nurtured and where success rather than failure is the focus.

Resilient schools also encourage healthy sleep, diet and exercise habits; promote supportive relationships including mentoring and “buddy” schemes and train staff in resilience so they may lead by example. By adopting a “whole of school” philosophy, they say every teacher-child interaction becomes an opportunity to encourage resilience.

What doesn’t help?

Professor Peter Gray, from Boston College in the United States, is among several researchers to have noted a marked decrease in resilience among tertiary students; asserting that they are increasingly afraid to fail, take risks or act with autonomy.

While acknowledging the serious effect mental illness can have on some students, he says a growing number have difficulty managing everyday “bumps in the road” such as “bad grades, breakups [or] being on their own for the first time”.

It is argued that overprotective parenting is to blame for this phenomenon: that although well intentioned, many parents feel pressured to “smooth the way” for their children, thereby denying them responsibility and preventing them from developing autonomy, emotional coping ability and the capacity to solve their own problems.

Research suggests that children of so-called “helicopter parents” tend to be more anxious, depressed and emotionally dependent than those who have been permitted more independence throughout their childhood. They argue that experiencing failure is important — even necessary — because it is in making mistakes, children learn how to adapt, improve themselves and emotionally handle setbacks.

In Conclusion

American author Naomi Wolf is quoted as saying: “Obstacles … are developmentally necessary: they teach kids strategy, patience, critical thinking, resilience and resourcefulness”. The evidence concurs: resilience education for children — learning to positively adapt to life’s “obstacles” — holds great value for children and for their communities.

Colleen Ricci : http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/resilience-classes-aim-to-improve-mental-health-of-a-generation-20151022-gkfjoy.html

photo credit: <ahref=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/95107977@N02/14211244596″>Try Sail Day Carenne Special School Bathurst 20 May 2014</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional resilience and emotional intelligence in business.  She is Author of Emotional Resilience: Know what it takes to be agile, adaptable and perform at your best (published by Pearson Education, 2015 with audiobook recorded by Ei World, 2015).

http://www.eiworld.org

Playing Mind Games

children play stationsOnline Game and Video to Promote Positive Mental Health for Kids

A film and an interactive game have been created to support parents and children to promote positive mental health.

The game – Lanterns Written on the Wind – has been created by the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s children’s mental health services.

It is aimed at children aged 4 to 11, to play with their parents and geared to encourage children to think about how they are feeling and to tell their parents.

It is available on the trust’s health for kids website.

Rachel Turner, developmental primary mental health worker at the trust, said: “We want parents to use the health for kids website to encourage their younger children to talk about their feelings and understand it is acceptable to share feelings, even if they don’t understand them.”

A video has also been created for the website.

Called Five Ways to Build Resilience, it talks teenagers through creating their own emotional resilience and keeping positive mental health.

Ms Turner said: “We know teenagers and young people experience a range of emotions and feelings as they grow up, which can be confusing and sometimes a little scary, so the video takes them through learning and applying tools to maintain a healthy mind. These might be going out with friends, reading or exercising.

“We want to empower young people and communicate how everyday ordinary activities can be part of building and maintaining their mental wellbeing.

“No other NHS trust has created a video on this topic for teens, so we hope other young people as well as those living in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland find it helpful.”

The game and the video are supported by an online social media campaign.

To comment on or share the Lanterns game use the hashtag #RUok and #healthforkids and to comment on or share information about the video use #ThisIsResilience and #healthforteens.

For more information on young children and feelings visit:www.healthforkids.co.uk or for more information on feelings and resilience, visit: www.healthforteens.co.uk

http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/line-game-video-promote-positive-mental-health/story-27983062-detail/story.html

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional resilience and emotional intelligence in business.  She is Author of Emotional Resilience: Know what it takes to be agile, adaptable and perform at your best (published by Pearson Education, 2015 with audiobook recorded by Ei World, 2015).

http://www.eiworld.org

 

Resilience in a Recession

BB18F3365D 2Resilient personality of cities could help in a recession

Society for Personality and Social Psychology

In recent years, psychologists established that regions and cities differ in their prevalent personality make-up. The resilient personality of a city’s residents could help determine whether cities bounce back or languish during a major recession, according to new research published in the peer-reviewed journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

In a large-scale two-country study that is the first of its kind, researchers examined whether the severity of the economic downturn of the 2008-09 recession depended on regional personality profiles. To this end researchers studied the personality traits of more than 1.3 million residents from more than 700 cities in the United States and regions in Great Britain. Cities fared better, with more businesses starting despite the recession, in places where residents displayed a more resilient personality, characterized by stronger emotional stability and entrepreneurial personality profile. This entrepreneurial profile is defined as persons scoring at the same time higher on extraversion, openness to new experiences, emotional stability, and conscientiousness, and lower on agreeableness.

“Cities seem to respond quite differently to major economic shocks in terms of their economic behavior, and the personality of a region may play a critical role,” said lead researcher Martin Obschonka, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Saarland University in Germany. “Much research on economic resilience has focused on regional economic infrastructure, but the entrepreneurial personality and emotional stability of a city’s residents may be just as important in determining whether cities suffer or thrive during a recession.”

Low emotional stability (or high neuroticism – the opposite of emotional stability) is characterized by anxiety, fear, envy and frustration. People high in emotional stability often respond to challenging situations, such as a recession, in a more positive, pro-active way than people low in emotional stability. The northern stretches of the East Coast, including New York City and Boston, bucked the trend found in the study by being more neurotic and less emotionally stable but still faring well during the recession.

In the U.S. cities, high regional scores for extraversion and low scores for agreeableness contributed to an entrepreneurial spirit, but that connection wasn’t found in Great Britain. The researchers note that the study findings are correlational so that they cannot prove causal effects. Nevertheless, the researchers think that it is more likely that the regional personality affects the region’s economic resilience than the other way around. “It probably would be difficult to boost a city’s entrepreneurial personality and emotional stability because a city’s personality is an ingrained element of local culture”, Obschonka said. “Cities differ in their regional personality because of a wide range of patterns that have developed over decades or centuries, including formal and informal institutions such as local norms and attitudes that can’t be changed overnight.”

However, government economic programs could be tailored toward the specific personality of cities. “We may need to re-think the concept of regional economic resilience by considering the personality differences of cities instead of just focusing on infrastructure,” Obschonka said.

Society for Personality and Social Psychology

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-09/sfpa-rpo092915.php

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional resilience and emotional intelligence in business.  She is Author of Emotional Resilience: Know what it takes to be agile, adaptable and perform at your best (published by Pearson Education, 2015 with audiobook recorded by Ei World, 2015).

http://www.eiworld.org

Thrive in Challenging Times… Learn How to Build…

How to Build Resilience Every Day

Resilience is not just the ability to survive challenging times; it’s the ability to thrive in them. Those who learn to build their own resilience can enjoy their work, their relationships, and the daily bustle more than someone who gets knocked down by stress over and over again.

Shell on beach

Anyone can learn to do this. But it takes practice. And stress is the ultimate catch 22. The more stressed you are, the less able you are to make the changes that would alleviate it. That’s why we view building resilience as a practice–something that you do daily, a little at a time, until the wellspring of resilience is part of you. That steady practice is what provides the big payoff.

Here are three ways to make resilience a practice in your life right now — and reap the benefits of being able to ride out any storm (or surf through it).

1. Put resilience on the calendar. The late Steven Covey said, “don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities.” When you want to make something consistent in your life, you want to build your life around it rather, than trying to shoehorn it in.

What activities make you feel good? Energized? Positive? A friend of mine loves taking her dog to the local park every Saturday and doing laps around the track, rain or shine. It helps her clear her mind and get a little movement in. A co-worker spends 10 minutes in the morning at a cafe journaling. Whatever activity loosens the grip of stress should be part of your weekly routine.

2. Practice tuning into your emotion radar. When something in your life goes badly, what emotion do you tend to feel first? For example, if you’re in a long line at the grocery store at the end of the day, do you feel frustrated? Angry? Sad? Or guilty, thinking you’re a bad parent because you’re missing dinner time with your kid?

When you regularly feel a negative emotion, you likely have what we call an “emotion radar” for it. You’ve learned to scan for that emotion, even if there’s not really a reason to feel it! The good news is that awareness breaks their chokehold. Ask yourself: Is this a habitual response I’m having, and is it making the situation worse? This will help you pause and see if it’s truly warranted.

3. Use mistakes as a chance to practice resilience. Ironically, the very moments when you feel your resilience waning are the perfect times to practice it. The next time you lose your cool, snap at your spouse, stay up too late, or start emotional eating–resist spiraling into self-blame or disgust, and instead, choose to do something that will ease your stress and feed your resilience, such as taking a walk or calling a supportive friend.

Of course, there will be times when stress gets the best of you. The key is to remember that practice makes perfect. Every single action your take towards feeling more resilient and positive, however small, is a win.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mequilibrium/how-to-build-resilience-every-day_b_8183384.html

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional resilience and emotional intelligence in business.  She is Author of Emotional Resilience: Know what it takes to be agile, adaptable and perform at your best (published by Pearson Education, 2015 with audiobook recorded by Ei World, 2015).

http://www.eiworld.org

 

Let’s Play…

… Building Emotional Resilience

Little boy croquet

following a decade’s worth of scientific research, shows how we can cultivate new powers of recovery and resilience in everyday life simply by adopting a more “gameful” mind-set.

 

 

Being gameful means bringing the same psychological strengths we naturally display when we play games—such as optimism, creativity, courage, and determination—to real-world goals. 

By completing this quest, you’ve just strengthened your emotional resilience.

Emotional resilience is the ability to access positive emotions at will. It doesn’t matter if you’re stressed, or bored, or angry, or in pain—when you have emotional resilience, you can choose to feel something good instead.

Emotional resilience is a particularly important strength. Research has shown that if, on average, people experience more positive emotions than negative ones, they gain a huge range of benefits. They’re more creative at solving problems. They’re more ambitious and successful at school and at work. They’re less likely to give up when things are hard. People around them are more likely to offer help and support them in their goals.

To achieve emotional resilience, you don’t need to eliminate negative emotions—that’s obviously impossible. You just need enough positive emotions, over the course of a day, to beat out the negative ones.

Both options in this quest are scientifically validated methods for provoking a specific positive emotion. Looking through a window provokes curiosity—the positive emotion that psychologists define as “a desire to gratify the mind with new information or objects of interest.”(Hopefully you saw something interesting through the window!) Meanwhile, researchers have demonstrated that looking at photos or videos of baby animals is all it takes to make virtually anyone feel the emotion of love. (Baby animal cuteness brings out our nurturing instinct!) Better yet, this quick burst of love from looking at baby animals doesn’t just feel good, it also improves attention and productivity.

Even if you felt the curiosity or the love for only a few seconds, you just got emotionally stronger. Enjoy it.

Full article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/four-simple-quests-help-you-live-more-gamefully-jane-mcgonigal

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional resilience and emotional intelligence in business.  She is Author of Emotional Resilience: Know what it takes to be agile, adaptable and perform at your best (published by Pearson Education, 2015 with audiobook recorded by Ei World, 2015).

http://www.eiworld.org