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Resilience - is it another buzzword?

Can you believe that it is already Semester 2? It must be great to finally breathe a sigh of relief after checking the Semester 1 exam results - I know that it was for me! Yet you might be someone who was expecting much more from your marks. If this is the case – no need to panic because today I would like to help you to sustain your determination and zeal for the rest of your life!

You could guess from the title that the "magical source" of the infinite drive is resilience. Resilience can be described as the ability to bounce back from adversities and gain strength from every new failure or obstacle faced. Recently, many recruiting companies entered this characteristic into the list of top desired traits. Yet is it only a buzzword? As studies show every person has resilience installed in them – yet the capacity to remain resilient depends upon the diligence of practice. In other words, instead of running from failures and escaping highly risky situations, the best option is to face them with the intention to grow mentally stronger. Moreover, whenever studies were carried out to train people on resilience, their quality of life improved immensely: an increase in mental and physical health stability were complemented with overall life satisfaction.

As full-time undergraduate students, we are all under the constant pressure of increasing responsibilities and overlapping deadlines. The pressure is enormous yet what if we could simply ride that wave. Let us then investigate the top used techniques to boost resilience as proposed by psychologist Rich Fernandez (Harvard Business Review, 2016):

  • Exercise mindfulness - simply taking time to appreciate the moments of successes, regardless of how small they are. Take time every evening to simply recall at least 3 things that went great today - write them down and keep rereading them every time you feel down.
  • Divide your cognitive load - focus on one task at a time. The amount of work will not disappear, yet when your brain is immersed in solving only one of these, the cognitive pressure will be minimised. Hence you will be able to tackle pressure not avoid it.
  • Take detachment breaks - balancing work activity with even brief time for mental breaks promotes the greater capacity for resilience through higher energy levels and mental clarity.
  • Finally, change perspective - the ability to step aside, reflect and observe the current situation in a neutral way allows us to create new options and choose wisely. An example is failed exams – instead of beating yourself up, try to tell yourself a story where you evaluate reasons for this outcome and calmly generate ideas for prevention and further improvement.

Just remember - your life is full of brilliant options and opportunities. You want to enjoy your life - so why not try it out now?

Resilience - is it another buzzword?

Resilience - is it another buzzword?