Building resilience

Learning to cope with and avoid stress will help you to build your emotional resilience allowing you to maintain focus, improve your relationships, your work performance and improve your overall wellbeing.

That's why Nuffield Health is helping to support mental resilience as part of our Health Assessment offering.

During your health assessment you will be assessed for your current state of emotional resilience and will receive a card as an indicator of whether you may need to improve your resilience or maintain it. 

Your results

If you’ve already had your health assessment you will have your results card. For more information relating to what these results mean see below:

If you received a card advising you had low coherence during your health assessment it was noted that your capacity for mental focus could be improved.  

Actions

To help improve this result it’s recommended you focus on the following:

  • ‘Reset’ at key times by using a focus on your breathing. During your health assessment, you performed the 6 breath test. Here you were asked to sit quietly and breathe at a rate of around 5 seconds in, 5 seconds out, focusing on your heart or the feeling of breathing. This can help bring the function of the brain in sync with the heart and body. It helps to ‘reset’ the mind so that we can become better able to focus on the task in hand. Doing this when you feel more tense or anxious can be a key step in helping manage emotions and mental focus.
  • Prioritise sleep quality by adopting a consistent bedtime that ensures you get the right length of sleep to rejuvenate your mind and body each night.
  • Increase positive emotions by noting one thing you appreciate each day. Increasing your level of positive emotion can be another important step in balancing emotions overall and in helping the mind function in a more open and responsive way. Another good way to do this is to do something kind for someone else. It may be something small but this can have a significant impact on the other person’s sense of wellbeing and positivity as well as your own.
  • Reducing caffeinated and alcoholic drinks may help reduce the stress placed on your body and improve sleep and recovery.
  • Performing light exercise, ideally outdoors can also be really beneficial in helping maintain your levels of resilience and positive mood. This can be anything you choose that you will find interesting, fun and challenging. It should make you aware that you are breathing a bit harder than usual but you should still be able to talk. Doing this with a friend can make this more fun and rewarding.

If you received an card stating you had medium coherence during your health assessment it was noted that your capacity for mental focus could be slightly improved. 

Actions

To help improve this result it’s recommended you focus on the following:

  • Try performing deep breathing exercises with a focus your heart or breath. During your health assessment, you performed the 6 breath test. Here you were asked to sit quietly and breathe at a rate of around 5 seconds in, 5 seconds out, focusing on your heart or feeling of breathing. This can help bring the function of the brain in sync with the heart and body. It helps to ‘reset’ the mind so that we can become better able to focus on the task in hand. Doing this prior to demanding situations, e.g. meetings, phone calls; and at times when you feel more tense and anxious can be a key step in helping manage emotions and mental focus.
  • Reducing caffeinated and alcoholic drinks may help reduce the stress placed on your body and improve sleep and recovery.
  • Write down ‘pressure points’ in a typical day and purposefully perform the above breathing technique breathing beforehand to prepare yourself by increasing your level of coherence and focus.

If you received a card stating you have high coherence during your health assessment it was noted that your capacity for mental focus is good, but it can always be improved. 

Actions

You may wish to try the following to help maintain and develop your coherence level.

  • Try performing deep breathing exercises with a focus your heart or breath. During your health assessment, you performed the 6 breath test. Here you were asked to sit quietly and breathe at a rate of around 5 seconds in, 5 seconds out, focusing on your heart or feeling of breathing. This can help bring the function of the brain in sync with the heart and body. It helps to ‘reset’ the mind so that we can become better able to focus on the task in hand. Doing this prior to new tasks, demanding situations and at times when you feel more tense and anxious can be a key step in helping optimise emotional experience and mental focus.
  • Try performing a ‘Quick Coherence’ session, combining deep breathing with positive emotions. Here, you carry out the breathing exercise as above. Then, make a sincere attempt to experience an uplifting, positive feeling like care or appreciation for someone or something in your life. Try and focus strongly on that feeling for 2-3 minutes. Combining this with heart-focused breathing may come more and more easily with practice. You could make time to do this for 5-10 minutes as a way of ‘training’ your coherence levels even further.
  • Try a ‘Coherent Day’ by performing the heart-focused breathing exercise for 1 minute every hour and note how you feel.

For more information about how your results are tracked, read our editorial: How does my heart rate show that I'm stressed?


Last updated Wednesday 16 September 2020