Karen, a busy mom of three, has misplaced her keys and has 10 minutes until she needs to drop her kiddos off at school. She is steaming hot and proceeds to dump the contents of her purse on the kitchen counter. She recruits her kids to check every drawer in the house but then finally finds the keys on top of the bathroom counter. Together the family makes a mad dash for the car and with seconds to spare she pulls up to the school in time for drop off. Only to then sit in bumper to bumper traffic on her way to work. Yet, the sea of cars doesn’t make her flinch even one inch. Why do some things get under your skin more than others? Chances are your resilience strategies have some mixed signals. Here is how you can balance your reactions to maintain consistency in any hair pulling situation:
1. Feed Your Curiosity
Jennifer, a corporate executive with a Fortune 500 company often wonders why some of her team members are better at bouncing back from stressful days vs. others. One morning at work she asked Steve, her team lead, how he is able to move seamlessly from one project to the next. His response: “I put myself in the shoes of my closest friends and imagine how they would overcome obstacles. From there I am able to brainstorm a list of things to try, so I don’t feel stuck.” Stress can help you perform your best if you are open to seeing a task as a way to always move into the present.
2. The F.O.R.T Method: Facts, Own It, Reframing and Time
One afternoon Bob decides to go for a run during his lunch break. He often brings his cellphone so that he can listen to his favorite playlist. On this particular day, Bob drops his cellphone, cracking the screen. How can Bob apply this method to his situation?
Facts: “I broke my phone. I made an appointment to fix it.”
Own It: “I wrecked my phone. It happens. It slipped out of my hand and it was an accident. I am okay.”
Re-framing: “I won’t be without a phone for long.”
Time: “I will give myself time to adjust.”
Walk yourself through these steps or use paper and pen to get your thoughts out – soon it will become an automatic thought process!
3. Color A Mandala
Carol keeps coloring books in the top drawer of her desk – she utilizes this strategy because it is a quick and easy way to declutter her mind. Research consistently shows that coloring can have a meditative effect. A study in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association found that anxiety levels decline in people who were coloring complex geometric patterns (mandala), making it a perfect outlet for stress reduction.