I was having a conversation with a fellow coach yesterday about how different people behave in recent times here in Hong Kong (where I am based at the moment of writing this). There are so much fears and worries revolving the Covid-19 virus and how bad the situation is. Amidst this fear, I see many service and product providers out there who aim to target precisely this primitive yet powerful response of human beings and try to increase sales of their products and professional services.
As a coach I cannot agree with this method of "help". Flaming fear to sell products or services that could "better protect oneself" only speaks to the amygdala part of our brains and this put our whole system in a stressed-out state. Enduring prolonged periods of this state will certainly weaken our immune system, in turns open doors to not only virus attacks but also mental ones.
Life is full of ups and downs. Assess this within yourself: when challenging experiences inevitably arise, are you ready to rise to the occasion? Your ability to bounce back after a transition or hardship determines whether most of your life is enjoyable and meaningful or frustrating and troublesome, not to mention any health implications that follow.
Instead of fears and worries, what can we do? The simple answer is this: become more resilient.
The more resilient you are, the quicker you’re able to re-adjust to a situation and move forward in life.
Let’s consider these ideas while you examine your own resilience:
1. Your first responses. When something initially begins to trouble you, how do you respond? Maybe you just curse saying “Why now, why me?”, maybe you try to ignore the situation, pretend it isn’t happening and hope it goes away quickly. Perhaps you panic and blindly follow everyone else’s actions (as witnessed in the hoarding of toilet papers and rice in supermarkets which created an artificial shortage of these substances for no apparent reasons).
If you’re resilient, you’ll choose to analyze the situation using multiple lens from unbiased sources and approach the situation head-on, and promptly. You’ll define the issue, consider your options, and make a plan. You’ll set out right away to resolve the situation before it becomes a full-blown issue inside of you.
Promptly employ problem-solving skills will help you and those around you avoid a major meltdown.
2. The value in past events. Try applying what you learned from past events to navigate present or future situations. When you reflect on what you’ve been through, you’ll likely think about the mistakes you made. Nevertheless, you’ll also be excited about how well you handled some situations and employ those same skills again.
The energy required to react from a place of fear or to push the current tough situation out of your mind draws heavily from your present resilience, wearing it down.
Alternatively, try focus your energies on using the lessons and skills you’ve learned from past experiences can build your resilience.
3. Mastering daily practices. During tough times, do you work to accomplish something, however small, each day? Or do you find yourself watching entire days go by while you brood and feel depressed or angry? In order to improve your resilience, consider each day an opportunity to do something positive, even if it’s just one thing. I have noticed recently there are many more hikers on the hills of Hong Kong, what a wonderful idea!
Something as simple as going for a walk, cleaning the living room or mindfully meditate would make all the difference. Your practice today could even be finishing a novel or voice-calling a friend you haven’t talked to in months.
What you do proactively with your life each day provides meaning that takes you away from the negative mode. (Spending all day surfing the net or binge-watching Netflix do not count!)
4. Your support networks. What kind of friends and family do you have and are they those you can call on if you need something? Resilient individuals build a supportive system of people they can talk to, visit and turn to whenever they hit troubled waters.
If you feel like you’re all alone, start building your support network today by setting a goal to make one new friend within the next 2 weeks.
5. Who matters to you most? Do you treat yourself as if you’re the most important person in your life (without being conceited that is)? When you take care of your own needs, you’ll be more resilient when a crisis knocks on the door. If your own health and living situation are at the top of your priority list, you’ll be prepared to face any hardship, be it emotional or physical. This does not mean running out and buying the last pack of surgical masks at a premium. It means taking care of yourself 365 days a year.
Take the time to keep yourself in tip-top shape physically and mentally builds your reserves of resilience whenever trying situations occur.
Challenges, transitions, and hardships will invariably arise in your life from time to time. If you confront situations immediately, use knowledge gained from prior adversity, and build your support network, you’ll be on your way to constructing resilience for the future.
When you make a habit to do these things above, before you know it, you’ll already be weathering any storm with ease!
What do you think of the above?
Please share your go-to strategies in tough times with by leaving a comment below! If you like this, share it with people who may need this, follow me or contact me here.
Nikitta Chau is the founder of Centric Quest Company, who specializes in coaching with Conversational Intelligence® and Dermatoglyphics Applied Behavioural Science. She works with executives, entrepreneurs and organizations from diverse cultural backgrounds looking to elevate awareness, sensitivity and competence in their conversational and relational challenges.
Contact her to learn more about how to gain internal clarity, remove communication blocks and build successful relationships, careers and businesses. Follow her on Instagram for her original and inspirational quotes.