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Resilience & Wellbeing

What is resilience and why is it helpful to be resilient?

Higher, faster and further - the demands in our private and professional lives are increasing and resilience seems to be one of the most frequently used buzzwords at the moment.

 

But what exactly is resilience?

Without a uniform definition within the German language, resilience is often described synonymously as an inner (psychological) resilience or ability that enables us humans to cope with adversity and high levels of stress (Ref. 1-2). Resilience research is an interdisciplinary science from neuroscience, medicine, psychology and social sciences (ref 3) and examines why people manage not to break as a result of mental crises, but rather to grow and develop self-confidence (Ref.2). A resilient person does not somehow survive a crisis, but emerges from it strengthened with a view to the future and self-development. Being resilient not only helps us to cope with private and professional changes, stress and crises, but also to come out of them stronger with a view to the future. Resilience is therefore a major contributor to our mental wellbeing.

Resilience in the work context?

Every third to fourth German suffers from a mental disorder in the course of life (Ref.4-5). Widespread mental health problems are the main cause of productivity declines in workplaces (Ref. 5). Thus, strengthening resilience in the context of work-related stress and psychosocial health is also becoming increasingly relevant in workplace health management (Ref. 4-5).The development of resilience and resilience strengthening is essential for coping with stress and preventing psychosocial diseases such as burnout.

Work-related psychological strain due to a high workload, social stigmatisation, unsupportive work culture and moral conflicts in everyday work also play a role in animal experimental research. These risk factors are involved in the development of mental stress such as burnout or compassion fatigue (Ref. 6-9.). In terms of a positive culture of care, we not only have to ensure the maximum possible individual animal welfare, but also place a stronger focus on human wellbeing in a supportive work culture [see:Ferrara et al., 2022;Ferrara 2020 and resilience article berliner compact courses (to be published in Sept. 2022). More on my site culture of care).

 

 

Can resilience be trained?

The answer is YES, because resilience is not innate, but a capacity that develops through interactions in a process of adaptation and development and can be learned throughout life . Optimism, acceptance, ability to act, willingness to take responsibility, solution-orientation, network and future care are the seven resilience factors or characteristics that serve as supporting pillars to enable us to better cope with stress and crises (ref 10).

 

How can you, your team or your employees train resilience?

Mental health is becoming increasingly important in the work context and with it the question of how a supportive work culture can support the development of personal resilience, resilience of managers and team resilience.

The answer is: through targeted training of the resilience factors as internal and external resources.This is done at the level of self-control, contact with other people and the different environmental factors (ref 2)

 

Resilience training with me?

Through resilience training, you, your team or your staff will learn how to activate resources and how to strengthen inner resilience for working in animal research. With the focus on building an organisational resilience, the in-company promotion of resilience training has also a special place in the work environment of animal research. Resilience training can also be well integrated in the form of a workshop in the scientific company or scientific institution.

The individual needs and topics can differ - if you are interested, I will offer one free initial consultation.

Basic offers on the topic of resilience can be found here.

 

In context of "Wellbeing Matters" I also offer the following:
 

In co-operation with Eileen Milenk from Mindful-Mind Resilience retreats (all professional groups animal research (more here), resilience workshops for animal welfare officers (online/analogue, more about this regularly under events), in cooperation with the berliner compact courses resilience training for animal welfare officers as part of the workshop for animal welfare officers and science resilience evening courses.

 

To receive all the latest news from me about wellbeing and resilience, you can sign up for the newsletter here. (will follow shortly).

 

 

References

1. Stock, C. (2019): Resilience. Stuttgart: Trias Verlag.

2. Wellensiek, S. (2017 (a)): Handbuch Resilienztraining. 2. aktualisierte Auflage. Weinheim Basel: Beltz Verlag, Programm Training, Coaching und Beratung.

3. Mauritz, S. (2020): Die Geschichte der Resilienz. Available under:https://www.resilienz-akademie.com/die-geschichte-der-resilienz/; last access 01.08.2022.

4. Wellensiek, S. (2017 (b)): Resilienztraining für Führungskräfte. 2. Auflage. Weinheim Basel: Beltz Verlag, Programm Training, Coaching und Beratung.

5. Badura, B. (2016): Arbeit und Gesundheit im 21. Jahrhundert. Berlin: Springer-Gabler Verlag.

6. Ferrara F, Hiebl B, Kunzmann P et al (2022): Culture of care in animal research – Expanding the 3Rs to include people. Lab Anim. Online ahead of print, doi: 10.1177/00236772221102238.

7. Goni-Balentziaga O, Vila S, Ortega-Saez I, et al (2021): Professional quality of life in research involving laboratory animals. Animals (Basel); 11:2639.

8. Randall MS, Moody CM, Patricia V, et al (2021): Mental wellbeing in laboratory animal professionals: A crosssectional study of compassion fatigue, contributing factors, and coping mechanisms. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci; 60:54-63.

9. LaFollette MR, Riley MC, Cloutier S, et al (2020): Laboratory animal welfare meets human welfare: A cross-sectional study of professional quality of life, including compassion fatigue in laboratory animal personnel. Front Vet Sci; 5:7-114.

10. Reivich K and Shatté, A (2003): THE RECILIENCE FACTOR. USA: Three Rivers Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc, New York.

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