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4 Resiliency Lessons When Work Is Tough


Work isn’t always easy. Difficult bosses, difficult clients, and feeling trapped at work may lead to depression and other health problems. Building resiliency helps you maintain both physical and psychological health.

(Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver/Flickr)

Dr. Martin Seligman has recommended that students be taught the same positive psychology and resilience lessons that are currently taught to our nation’s military. People in the civilian workforce are also prone to life’s stressors. Anyone can benefit from these four lessons in resiliency.

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1. Positive Emotions

As Dr. June Gruber explains, positive emotions motivate us to pursue important goals, savor experiences, and maintain vital social bonds. They also counteract the cardiovascular effects of stress, so are important to physical as well as psychological health.

Give yourself an opportunity to experience positive emotions in your life by having something you look forward to every day. It could be a class in the evening, or lunch with a friend. This helps to counteract the stress you may feel because of a difficult situation at work.

2. Engagement

Being engaged is being present in what is happening at the moment. It may be near-impossible to feel engaged while your narcissistic boss drones on and on in an endless meeting, but ask yourself how you can feel engaged. For example, you boss may be irritating but the subject of the meeting may be important to your job. Focusing on what is important to you is a way to increase your resiliency.

3. Relationships

We’ve all heard it before, “No man is an island.” Having strong bonds in your personal life creates a higher level of resiliency in your professional life. This is true for both personal relationships as well as at-work relationships.

Not every co-worker is going to be your best friend. However, you may cultivate a sense of friendliness and positive relationships with co-workers that you trust. Also, you need not make a point of cultivating negative relationships. If you don’t like a co-worker, be a professional and work with this person to get the job done.

4. Achievement

Celebrate your achievements. It is a good thing to recognize what you do well, as long as you don’t act superior to everyone else at the office. Recognize what you do well, and focus on your talents and skills. You will feel better about yourself and increase your own resiliency to survive difficult work situations.

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