Do you ever ask yourself why some colleagues seem to be able to handle stress? Or why, after a long day at work, your colleague asks who wants to go for a drink, while you long for a comfortable evening at home? These individuals do exist – those who seem able to manage all kinds of stress without a problem and remain cheerful despite all the global work pressures. What characterizes these colleagues is their resilience. By not sticking their heads in the sand, but optimistically facing each new situation that arises in the international work world, the stress they endure does not leave negative effects.

What is resilience?

First of all the good news: resilience in not inborn, we can all learn to strengthen our resources, face difficulties, take on challenges, and grow. Resilience stands for taking a positive, winning view of things. It places resources and possibilities in focus – not dangers and deficits.

Resilience means being able to stand up to global pressures, being optimistic and flexible, taking responsibility and planning for the future. “But we always do it that way!” Is not something resilient employees would say. Instead, their motto would be, “Let’s try something new.”

Why is resilience important for you

Those who are able to see professional changes and global challenges as an opportunity leave less room for stress to develop. For whatever we achieve and master creates optimism and contributes to our sense of self-confidence. By discovering your resilient capacities, using them, and expanding them, you can lower your own stress level. You will notice that much of what once might have been a source of stress no longer throws you off track so easily. Not only are you doing something for your physical and mental well-being, but you are also promoting your ability to achieve at work. In the end, the whole team profits from a working environment in which stress no longer dominates.

How to strengthen your resilience

Anyone can learn resilience. You can strengthen your resources best by working on your personality and your attitude. Leave the victim role behind and see the possibilities offered by supposed stress situations. A long-distance business trip to a global location need not only entail travel stress, but can also allow you insights into other cultures. Taking personal responsibility can show your special leadership qualities and help you develop a global mindset. And after many hours of overtime in order to finish an important project, you can look forward to the free time that awaits you.

Resilience is not something that comes from one day to the next, it has to be lived and learned. With each small step, you stand up to your stress and no longer allow it to gain the upper hand.

The Best Anti-Stress Tips for the Work Day:

  • Positive energy: You reap what you sow. With a smile on your face and respect for your colleagues, you can contribute to a more easygoing atmosphere at your workplace, the best way to avoid excessive stress. A friendly “good morning” or a “please” or “thank you” can often work wonders.
  • Accept challenges: You’re stronger than you think! Whether it’s your first presentation before a larger audience, the first project where you had sole responsibility, or a change to a new area: don’t see new challenges as a source of stress. For we grow with new challenges: what today is a cause for concern might be a gain tomorrow.
  • Communicate openly: Honesty is always best in the long run. By keeping the lines of communication open in your team – particularly in your cross cultural team – letting them know what causes you stress, what workload you can master without difficulty, or how much time or help is required, your needs can be met. In this way, various aspects of stress can be eliminated or mastered jointly.
  • Be aware of your limits and take breaks: Lunch at the computer? No, thank you. If you want to fight stress, you need time to recharge. So be sure to plan regular breaks: a brief change of location, fresh air, or a conversation with colleagues can provide new strength. In an acute stress situation, it is helpful to take a break and to take a few deep breaths.
  • Set realistic goals: Often stress arises because people have taken on too much. You don’t need to be equally good at everything: the better you know your abilities, the more successfully you can do your job. Set yourself realistic goals – the best device against self-made stress.
  • Find something that can guarantee the equilibrium in your private life: Even for those who work a lot, work isn’t everything. Healthy work-life management entails a balance between professional and private life. Whether it’s the family, travel, hobbies, or exercise: the main thing is that you can forget about work and leave office stress behind you. Rituals can often help, whether it’s the daily breakfast with the family or a regular evening just for partners or friends.
  • Laughing keeps us healthy: Humor makes us strong and resilient, and this is naturally also true for the workplace. Laughing with colleagues is not just fun, but helps us bond with one another: the next stress situation is thus only half as bad, because the team shares the burden.
  • Movement provides energy: Even if you feel exhausted after a long workday, just a little exercise ensures a palpable increase of energy. Sport wakes us up and clears our mind! We feel more fit and live. And a positive side effect: with the right exercise, you can avoid muscle strain and back pain!

Reprinted with permission from Global Health Management at SAP.

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