Resilience through Mind Leadership – bouncing back again, again and again.

Published by Martina Esberger on

Resilience through Mind Leadership – bouncing back again, again and again.

Can an understanding of your thought patterns, body sensations, senses, colour of breath, emotions and behaviour in stressful situations lead to less reactivity and more conscious action? Is it possible that a toolbox of easily applicable techniques can raise resilience? A highly effective method to improve resilience is greater self-knowledge and self-management, which can be cultivated through mindfulness and present moment awareness. 

In order to build resilience both at the workplace and at home, the Personnel development department of the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien offered its employees a seminar on mind leadership training, as part of its continuing education programme. 

Copyright BOANET.AT, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien

Increased self-knowledge through mind leadership

The seminar, which was offered in five workshops of three hours each, introduced key elements for self-understanding and management. Participants were made aware of the role of focus and distraction in the work process, the connection between our body, mind and breath, the neurophysiology behind changing attitudes and mindset, and the nature of the mind and thought flow. 

Stress and its effects on the body and applying insights to recognizing stressors and stress reactions, addressing them whilst they are arising, was a core element of the seminar. How do we recognize the gap between trigger and response? What does the breath have to do with welcoming stress amplifiers?

The role of mindful communication, the world of emotions and their footprint in the

body, empathy, and compassion were discussed in the context of organizations and outcomes. Tuning our body awareness like an instrument to be able to feel emotions arising is an important skill in dealing with difficult emotions, so much a companion in the face of change. 

Bringing awareness to our interdependence and connectedness as human beings enables a deeper understanding of the individual and collective roles we play.

The fifteen-hour seminar conducted in English, constituted theoretical input, evidence-based studies, specific guided meditations, dyads, exercises, and interactions between the participants in exercises tailor-made for each topic. The encouragement of active discussion and input greatly enriched the workshop. In the course of the ten-week course, the group evolved into a container for insight and personal growth and development. The use of a lively mix of methods, kept interest active and alive.

At this critical time, often termed BANI (brittle, anxious, non-linear, and incomprehensible), understanding the self and reacting wisely is more important than ever before.

Numerous studies suggest that meditation and mindful awareness help to better deal with difficult emotions, like anger, fear and anxiety and anticipate stress before it arises. A balanced mind leads to more conscious decision-making, higher social competence, and ability to keep bouncing back.  Training the mind, like a muscle, fosters clarity, focus, emotional und social intelligence. 

Just a short period of stillness recharges our brains to deal with the immense sources of distraction, which have multiplied, as the demand for sensational news grows. Taking in the positive leads to new pathways in the brain, in an organ hardwired for the negative.

Self-generated insights generate individual resilience.

With the understanding of how the brain, the nervous systems, our hormonal landscape and the breath function when under stress, observing ourselves is the first step towards a new built-in 

awareness. As William James (1842 – 1910), Harvard Professor for Psychology and Philosophy said:

“The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner

attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives “.

The choice is ours.

A big thank you to the Personnel Development and Planning Office

Thank you to an open-minded Alexander Mingst from the Personnel Development and Planning Office who promoted an ancient yet innovative multi-facetted approach to building resilience using mind leadership and meditation.

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