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Embracing Change: Psychological Resilience During a Period of Transition 

April 4, 2024 thehrobserver-hrobserver-positivepsychology

Psychological resilience implies one’s ability to cope with stress and effectively navigate life’s challenges and uncertainties. A resilient mindset is an asset. In the face of adversities, it is how easily an individual can pull oneself up, rise and maintain well-being to achieve goals.

To understand the significance of change, lets look at the case of students as an example. A recent study by Dove Medical Press revealed that anxiety-related disorders are the primary mental health issues affecting students in the UAE.

Moreover, statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate a global uptick in mental health disorders like anxiety and depression among young adults, with university students facing heightened susceptibility.

ResearchSquare supports the assertion that anxiety disorders are prevalent among UAE students, emphasising the pressing need for expanded research in this domain and on mental health challenges in the UAE overall. Therefore, just like universities and educational institutions, workplaces must devise and implement strategies to bolster psychological resilience among their employees, particularly during the transition periods.

How do we cultivate resilience?

It is imperative to develop self-awareness for effective decision-making. We should be aware of our weaknesses, emotions, and strengths to deal with challenges. Additionally, being surrounded by supporters, family members, and mentors can provide much-needed encouragement, coping strategies, and decision-making.

Exercise, yoga, meditation, deep breathing enhances overall well-being and reduces stress. Sleep is often very erratic when there is stress, but is an essential part of our strengthening resilience. Research has shown that averaging less than 8 hours of sleep may negatively affect cognitive processes, therefore a consistent sleep schedule should be prioritised.

Employees should break their professional and personal goals into manageable tasks and timelines to achieve their goals. Just like students, they must celebrate small victories along the way and adjust goals as needed to stay motivated and focused. We should never hesitate to reach out to counsellors, mental health professionals, or support groups if struggling with stress, anxiety, or other mental health concerns. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

It is also essential for employees in the UAE to navigate cultural differences. We can learn from people of different faiths, backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. They can celebrate diversity and take part in intercultural activities. Showing respect to other cultures and beliefs is very important. It is always wise to be aware of other cultural norms and customs that are followed in the UAE, even if they differ from yours.

Furthermore, employees should have an open dialogue in the case of any conflict and engage in respectful communication with colleagues at all times. 

Embracing resilience for success

Cultivating psychological resilience becomes essential in tackling challenges and embracing the opportunities. Being psychologically resilient is a trait that will benefit employees.

By developing self-awareness, building a support network, and practising positive coping techniques, people can embrace the enriching experiences offer and empower themselves to thrive mentally, socially, and emotionally.

With support from the human resources department and the broader community, employees can embark on a rewarding path to professional and personal success.

Author
Raj Sharma

Head of Global College, Heriot-Watt University Dubai

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