The Wardley Wellbeing Hub is the central area for the ACTNow campaign.
Feeling confident enough to cope when things get tough
Wellbeing is not only about personal happiness, it is about feeling confident enough to cope when things get tough in our lives or when our physical health suffers. This requires resilience, and whilst people cannot always choose what happens to them, resilience, like many other life skills, can be learned.
Building emotional resilience
Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviours, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone. According to the Samaritans, there are three elements that are essential to resilience, these are:-
- personal control.
Viewing a difficulty as a challenge, rather than a paralysing event can help to build resilience. Try to look at failures and mistakes as lessons to be learned from, and as opportunities for growth. Equally, one of the key factors in coping with challenges is the ability to balance stress and your emotions. The capacity to recognise emotions and express them appropriately helps people to avoid getting stuck in depressions, anxiety, or other negative mood states. Being able to see the bigger picture and realising that events, both the good and the bad, are only temporary rather than permanent, will help people to deal with these challenges.
Some challenges are just too big to be dealt with alone. Knowing when to ask for help is a key ingredient to coping with life’s challenges. As part of Pharmacist Support’s wellbeing programme, we can offer a range of services that can help with depression, stress and anxiety. People can talk anonymously and in confidence to a pharmacist from our Listening Friends helpline, attend a wellbeing workshop or listen to our webinars on stress and assertiveness.
Resilient people are committed to their lives and their goals, and they have a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning. Developing goals is an important part of commitment, however, it is important to make sure that any goals set are realistic.
Other common mistakes are setting too many goals, or setting negative goals, for example, many people have a goal to ‘lose weight’ or ‘stop staying late at work’. Rewording goals can be a way turning a negative into a positive, for example, ‘lose weight’ can become ‘be more healthy’ and ‘stop staying late at work’ can become ‘spend more time with family and friends’.
For further information on goal setting, see the Mindtools website.
Resilient people spend their time and energy focusing on situations and events that they have control over. By putting their efforts where they can have the most impact, they feel empowered and confident. Those who spend time worrying about uncontrollable events can often feel lost, helpless and powerless to take action.
For people who feel anxious or worried a lot, having a worry period can be a really helpful way of containing those worries so they don’t overtake their entire day. Here are some suggestions about how to do this:-
- when things come into your head, take out a note book and jot them down, then forget about them until it’s worry o’clock
- At a specified time in the day, allow yourself time to worry; this should be no longer than an hour.
- look back over what you have noted down
- if there are any worries that can be resolved start brainstorming, make a list of solutions and from this develop an action plan
- there may be things to which there is no solution and you will need to find a way to accept them – go back to earlier wellbeing steps for further help when dealing with challenges.
It is surprising how different these worries look when time is set aside to deal with them and how many of them are no longer an issue once the time is taken to look at situations with a little more perspective.
For further information on dealing with worries and anxiety, see the Moodjuice website.