But how can you make yourself more stress resistant? Davis-Laack outlines seven questions to ask yourself to give you a bit of perspective.
Have I experienced anything like this before? If yes, how did I deal with it?
Researchers found that people with a history of some life adversity (classified as two to six prior adverse life events) reported better mental health and wellbeing.
“Moderate levels of prior adversity teach you how to create effective coping skills, help you connect to social support networks, create a sense of mastery, and build your self-efficacy (the belief that you can produce results in your life),” Davis-Laack wrote.
Is this event going to change my life in such a way that a “new normal” will emerge?
For some, the impact of an event leads to stressful, worst-case-scenario thinking.
“Depending on the severity of the challenge,” wrote Davis-Laack, “you may have to face the reality that your life will have a ‘new normal’.”
It’s important to moderate the negative, panicked thinking and deal with the question rationally.
Is it possible that this event might change my life for the better or might open new doors for me?
“Posttraumatic growth is the positive and personal changes that result from an individual’s struggle to deal with traumatic life events,” wrote Davis-Laack.
People tend to grow in five specific areas following traumatic events. Having a renewed appreciation for life, recognising new life paths, enhanced personal strength, improved relationships and spiritual growth are all common growth areas.
Will I be dealing with this problem a year from now?
“When adversity strikes, it’s tempting to assume that the challenge will be around forever, because that’s what it seems like in the moment,” wrote Davis-Laack.
Asking yourself how long the problem will stick around helps evaluate the root causes, giving some perspective.
Do I know anyone who has been through this who can help?
It’s no secret that support networks are fundamental during stressful periods; Davis-Laack calls it the ‘cornerstone’ of resilience.
“If you can identify someone who has ‘been there done that,’ it can be a source of comfort and confidence,” Davis-Laack wrote.
What aspects of this adversity can I directly control, influence or leverage?
Don’t try to change things that are outside of your control.
“Resilient people focus their time and energy on aspects of a problem that they can directly control, influence or leverage,” Davis-Laack wrote.
What positive emotions can I leverage?
“Positive emotions directly build your resilience,” wrote Davis Laack.
In fact, positive emotions can help your decision making and increase your creativity.
While stress is a part of life, reframing your thinking can help build up stress resilience.
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Many of us encounter stress on a daily basis – trying to balance work and life while building a career, wrote Paula Davis-Laack in a recent article for