One of the most important qualities of a leader is resilience, especially in today’s stressful environment. Resilience is the capacity to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of stress and challenges (HeartMath Institute). When we are resilient, we can also neutralize or prevent some of the ongoing wear and tear. To be clear, resilience is not the absence of stress or trauma. In fact, it requires stress or a difficult challenge to build that mental muscle.
Resilience needs recharging. Emotions are at the core, affecting our physiology, energy and resilience. Certain emotions (e.g., anger, frustration, irritation, anxiety) deplete our energy while other emotions (e.g., ease, passion, courage) renew our energy. Leaders’ ability to recognize emerging emotions—e.g., by practicing mindfulness and noticing physical sensations—can help leaders to change energy patterns. Instead of falling into a reactive pattern (fight, flight or freeze) they can cultivate a more constructive choice-based responses to “triggers” and manage their energy to build resilience.
Mindfulness meditation practices help us build resilience as they allow us to 'begin again' without rumination or regret. “No matter what the circumstances, we are always able to begin again in a new moment,” Sharon Salzberg writes.