No time to read the full article? Find a handy overview of all the take-aways to improve your resilience here.
Resilience is a word you hear a lot in these challenging times. Actively working on that mental resilience and building the right life balance doesn't just mean getting in your bit of daily exercise. It also means being "smarter than your brain’," says Elke Geraerts, professor in psychology and founder of the company Better Minds at Work. She makes it clear that investing in resilience leads to more productivity and employee success. She also provided some specific tips and tricks that you can put into practice straight away.
Consciously deal with the legacy of your ancestors
47% of the time, our minds live a life of their own. Our thoughts wander; they go everywhere and nowhere. A wandering mind like this is by default negative. That’s because our primitive brain is at work. This part of our brain is constantly on the lookout for danger, an inheritance of our distant ancestors. In addition, it also wants new impulses all the time; which is great when you're hunting, but not when you're trying to get an important quote done and sent. Fortunately, we also have a prefrontal cortex. This is the youngest part of our brain (evolutionarily) and makes us the homo sapiens we are. It allows us to focus when we consciously focus our attention on something.
The good news is that we can train ourselves to consciously switch from the primitive brain to the prefrontal cortex. Elke advises you to regularly ask yourself, "what was I just thinking about?". Do this, for example, when you're doing some routine task such as making coffee or brushing your teeth. Where do your thoughts go? Are you already writing emails in your head or mentally putting one of your colleagues in their place? Challenge yourself to say as many positive things as possible about the person or situation that is ringing in your head. This is how you tackle the stress that your primitive brain unconsciously generates.
From Calimero to Calihero
You probably know a lot of Calimeros. Just like the cartoon character, you can spot them by their well-known statements such as "they are different than I am, and that's not fair," "that's not my responsibility," 'the others have to change first, then I will," or "yes, but." Their primitive brain absorbs a lot of their thoughts, which requires a lot of space and energy. Take note of such a mindset, both in yourself and in others. Talk about it, respectfully, to promote awareness. This will allow you to evolve into a "Calihero." You then take small steps to evolve out of yourself and into yourself. You look for relationships and are open to new things, based on a yes mindset. A vision that we also promote in our company through our Positive digital flow philosophy.