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COVID-19: Banish Stress and Build Resilience

The key to resilience is to avoid turning pressure into stress. And the #1 cause of stress is actually rumination, which is the mental process of thinking over and over about something and attaching negative emotions to it. Rumination creates stress symptoms and is the enemy of resilience. People who don’t ruminate may have plenty of pressure or hardships in their lives, but they aren’t stressed by it.

Try these 4 mental habits to increase your resilience and reduce your stress and burnout:

1 Wake up - recognize how much time you spend ruminating.

2 Control your attention - put your attention where you want it to be and hold it there.

3 Detach - reflect and plan rather than ruminate.

4 Let go negative emotions - ask yourself a simple question—will continuing to focus on this help me, my people, or my organization? If the answer is no, let it go. It isn’t doing you any good.

Reflection is the process of thinking over a problem to arrive at a solution. When you think about the past or the future in a positive or a neutral way, this is reflection, or what we call above-the-line thinking.

Above the line, you:

  • Plan for the future, drawing on experience. Keep the present as the frame of reference.

  • Admit that your recall of the past may not be accurate. Know that future plans aren’t certainties.

  • Include others in the decision-making process. Be confident in making a final decision.

We call rumination below-the-line thinking. Below the line, you:

  • Churn over the past with regret. Speculate about the future with anxiety.

  • Insist that events were exactly the way you remember them. Block flexible, Plan-B expectations.

  • Impose your views. Respond angrily when you’re questioned.

Reflection is essential for good leadership, while rumination is disastrous.

To read the full CCL article, please click here.

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