Resilience Tools and Techniques

Often the first step in any change, is a stressful event. It occurs when you first hear about something that is happening or about to happen, and you weren't expecting it. Perhaps something didn't go as planned and you need to take a different path. A project falls over. A major customer cancels their order. Your company announces a restructure.

These are stressful events.

The more resilient a person is, the smoother and faster the mental and emotional processing of the event.  If your resilience is low, you get stuck in this processing phase. Thoughts circle around and around in your head. You may feel numb and unable to think clearly.  You may get stuck in anger or sadness and unable to shake it off.


There are strategies you can do to manage this in-the-moment impact. Things you can do to deal with the stress while it is happening. There are also strategies you can use to build resilience in advance.

Carpenter's Tools

In-the-moment emotion and thought regulation

  • Our emotions and thoughts are reflexes in our brain. They are neither good nor bad. We add judgment to them after they have occurred, and they are interconnected. Our emotions are evoked by the thoughts we have about the stressful event.  You can't manage your in-the-moment stress without acknowledging and dealing head-on with your emotions and thoughts that have been evoked

  • Some techniques to try include: 

    • Notice the story you are telling yourself 

    • Challenge your assumptions - what is true and factual? 

    • Take a break from the moment - go for a walk and get some air, get a cup of tea or water

    • Talk to someone - get perspective

  • Additional Resources:  

    • Richard O'Connors book "Rewire" 

    • Brene Brown's book "Rising Strong"

Strategies to build resilience in advance of change

  • Focusing on the personal domain of resilience, here are some ideas to build your resilience in advance of change:

  • Refresh your mindset by reviewing Prof Carol Dweck’s work on the power of mindsets (Book or Ted Talks)

  • Write your values and key strengths on post-it notes and place them where you can see - them each morning, to reflect on how you will live these through the day

  • Put exercise at the start of your day so it’s less likely to be skipped. 10 minutes of yoga at home in the morning can set you up well for the day.

  • Notice the pace of your breathing and other sensations in your body which signal that you need to do something different. Meditation or exercise (even walking) are proven stress reducing strategies.

  • Find ways to feed your creativity and curiosity. When was the last time you took an art class or went to a live music performance or danced in a silent disco?

  • Find a song that you can listen to that makes you break free from your current mood and feel re-energised

  • Expressing gratitude is a key factor of resilience. Write a thank you note to someone you appreciate (be very specific in describing why).

Continue Exploring Resilience

Check out how we can help you build yours, or your employees' resilience

Tailored workshop to solve your immediate needs