1. USE the CAB (Challenge – Automatic Thinking – Behavior & Emotion)/CAR (Challenge – Active Thinking – Realistic Response) Technique: The CAB/CAR technique refers to our automatic thinking responses vs. our active approach to thinking about situations. When certain situations occur, our brain reacts automatically, and almost instantaneously, due to our biology. Because of how we evolved, we typically respond to perceived threats in unfavorable ways. These negative thoughts could result in catastrophizing, lashing out, or giving up. Conscious control over the emotional brain is possible, not by suppressing emotions, but by changing the interpretation that creates the emotion in the first place. By slowing our thought patterns down and taking a deep breath, we can trigger the more rational part of our brain – the prefrontal cortex.
2. Developing Mindfulness: “Mindfulness isn’t difficult. What’s difficult is to remember to be mindful.” — John Teasdale. Being mindful emphasizes living in the present moment and not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. It is a non-judgmental awareness of the present moment.
3. Acting “As If”: Attitude follows behavior. Using specific behaviors and nonverbal techniques can change the way you feel and improve your resilience.
4. Developing Gratitude: Savoring moments releases dopamine, extending your positive mood. It also motivates you to seek out positive experiences.
5. Giving: “Giver burnout” is a myth. In fact, giving (your time, expertise, etc.) is energizing, as long as it is directed towards something you value. Asking for help also enhances resilience.
6. Setting Ambitious Goals: Goals are best designed when they focus not only on the outcome you’d like to achieve (e.g., complete project by end of Q2), but on the process by which you will achieve that outcome (e.g., weekly team status meetings, project milestones).
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