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Monitoring resilience

Monitoring resilience

When you’re maintaining physical fitness you pay attention to signs that something needs attention. You notice aches, tension and pain and do something to address them don’t you? Just as muscles and joints offer feedback on how they are dealing with physical challenges, so your mind does the same. Here are some common indicators that your resilience needs addressing are shown below

How you act:
• Your relationships may have become strained or you may be avoiding contact and withdrawing into yourself
• You might notice you have increased your use of caffeine, tobacco, alcohol and / or medication
• You may have stopped taking part in previously pleasurable activities
• Your work may be suffering

How you think:
You may notice you are increasingly
• Cynical and negative
• Less trusting towards people that you should be able to trust
• Having a general sense of failure or lack of purpose
• Believing you are unloved or even that you are a bad person

How you feel:
When our resilience drops, for some people emotions can feel hard to contain. Others may try to ignore emotions by keeping busy but, either way, you may catch yourself feeling
• Depressed
• Disillusioned
• Frustrated or angry
• Tearful
• Unsafe, overly edgy and jumpy
• Even panic, hopelessness or helplessness

Physical symptoms:
Your body may be telling you that your mind is losing resilience, through
• Headaches, difficulties focusing, dizziness
• Sleep disruption, bad dreams, chronic fatigue
• Racing heart, tight chest
• Frequent and prolonged colds
• Gastrointestinal disorders / ulcers
• Sudden weight gain or loss
• Muscular aches and pains

The first step is to recognise any of these as possible signs that you are under excessive pressure and need to rebuild your resilience. They are our early warning signals and the earlier we notice them and then do something, the easier it is. A bit like a smoke alarm – you heed the warning and take action rather than ignore it (or even take the batteries out!) and then wait until bigger warning signals such as smoke and heat. Next time, we’ll start with some simple steps you can take.

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