The number one thing to build resiliency

Why is it that some people suffer hardships and they don't stumble? What's up with how they always look forward to what the future holds?

Why do some companies bend under pressure and ultimately bounce back?

We've all seen the opposite happen: One person can't seem to get confidence back after a layoff; another, persistently depressed, takes a few years off from life after her divorce.

I think the question we'd all like answered is, Why?

Resilience. People with resilience bounce back quickly from stress.

And evidence shows that it can be learned.

You can become more resilient by retraining your brain to bounce back from the frequent and annoying screwups, minor setbacks and irritating upsets (routine in any busy, working person's life).

With a little effort, you can upgrade your brain's ability to handle life's downers.

Have you ever been so upset that you say or do something you later regret?

Who doesn't do that now and then?

When that's happened, it's a sure sign the emotional brain has hijacked the brain's executive centers. The key to resilience lies in how quickly we recover from this hijacked state.

To tackle this in the workplace, a super team came together for research: Neuroscientist Richard Davidson, CEO of a high-pressure, 24/7 biotech startup, and meditation expert Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Ever since, mindfulness has steadily gained credence among no-nonsense executives.

Might you benefit from tuning up your brain's resilience circuitry by learning to practice mindfulness meditation?

The instructions are simple:

1 / Find a quiet, private place where you can be for a few minutes. Eliminate distractions, by closing the door to your office, turning your phone on silent, etc.

2 / Sit comfortably upright, yet at ease.

3 / Focus on your breathing. Be attentive of sensations of your breath in and out, and start again on the next breath.

4 / Don't try to change your breathing at all.

5 / See anything else that comes to mind as a distraction (thoughts, sounds, whatever). Return your attention to your breathing.

Lauren ZieglerComment