Resiliency and the Research Behind Bouncing Back

Jill Farmer, author and executive coach, gave Forum an insightful talk on resiliency and the research behind bouncing back. She explained that unexpected twists can induce stress but also add spice and meaning to life—COVID is an example of a globally-felt challenge/disruption. 
Jill dynamically conveys her sage advice.  For more, you can watch the presentation here.
She offered three (3) research-based ways to build resilience and get your brain to work for rather than against you:
  • Acknowledge what is happening/what you are feeling. Pause, name it, let it move through you before you make a decision or take action. She told us physical exercise is the most powerful tool we have to process emotion.
  • Accept what is in your control and what is not. Get clear about what concerns, frustrations, anxieties you have that are about things you can influence, so you can focus your energy and attention on only those things.
  • Reframe by looking at your problem from a different perspective. Imagine what a board advisor would tell you (zoom out to see the bigger picture). Ask whether this problem will matter in 10 hours, 10 weeks, 10 months or 10 years? Identify whether you are having helpful or harmful thoughts … and learn how to focus on the helpful thoughts.
And for stress, activated stress, habitual stress, there are a few proven techniques you can do to relive that burden. And you need to relieve it because we know that ongoing activated stress increases your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, AND makes you lose brain cells (you can lose up to 13 IQ points!). Also, stress increases the likelihood of burnout and making poor decisions.
  • Exercise.  Most effective way to metabolize stress hormones.
  • Meditate. Even 5 minutes of meditation a day improves resiliency. Try Head Space or 10% Happier.
  • Community and Connection. Phone calls, texts, zooms, and of course, being together with people when we can, safely.
Her book recommendations: 
Emotional Agility by Susan David (check out her Ted Talk too)

Resilience by Rick Hanson