Let’s get started by first looking at resilience and energy management so you can better understand how to optimize your performance and respond appropriately to any situation, even the tough ones. 

Here is the Overview:

The lesson goal is to introduce the concept of resilience and show how it relates to energy, stress and performance.

So let me ask you: what does “resilience” mean to you?

And, when you are resilient, what do you notice about yourself?

Resilience is commonly thought of as the ability to bounce back after a challenging situation. It’s important to be able to bounce back, but there is much more to resilience than bouncing back.

Key Concepts:

HeartMath® gives us a definition of resilience that captures the essence of a broader understanding of what resilience is:

Resilience is the capacity to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of stress, challenge or adversity.

  • Your resilience capacity can be thought of as the amount of energy you can store in your inner battery.
  • The greater your resilience, the more energy you’ll have available when you need it.
  • Having more energy means you have greater capacity to self-regulate and be in charge of how you respond in situations.
  • Learning and applying energy-management skills can increase your energy reserves, thereby increasing your resilience capacity.
  • Getting enough sleep and plugging energy “leaks” so you don’t waste energy is key in building and maintaining your resilience.
What is resilience and what does energy management have to do with it?:

You’ve likely experienced times when you feel you don’t have much energy and may have used phrases like “I’m running on fumes,” “I’m drained” or “I’m wiped out” to describe that feeling. Think of a time you have felt like that and notice how it affected you and those around you. It’s common that when your energy is low, it can be difficult to think clearly, perform tasks well and even bounce back, all of which are good indications that your resilience is low. So, what exactly is resilience and how can you get more of it?

Resilience can be thought of as the capacity to prepare for, recover from and adapt to stress, challenge or adversity. When you are resilient, you are able to bounce back and recoup faster after a challenging situation. This helps offset much of the lingering wear and tear that affects not only you, but your family and co-workers as well. By building greater resilience capacity you’ll be better prepared, have greater flexibility, make smarter decisions and keep a cool head in challenging situations or whatever arises.

Having greater resilience doesn’t mean you will not find yourself in difficult situations. What it does mean is you’ll have an internal capacity that will give you the strength and resolve to handle what.ever comes up.

When you learn and apply energy-management skills, you can increase your capacity to build your energy reserves. You then have more energy to draw from when you need it. If you do not monitor and manage your energy, you can become depleted, making it more difficult to deal with a situation. You can’t respond or perform optimally.

(Click the image to see it larger)
The figure shows the findings of research on how stress affects performance over time. The red line shows how performance initially increases if we positively embrace the challenge but then decreases over time. The blue line shows that although stress may affect us, the more serious stages of depletion can be avoided with appropriate stress and energy management.

You can think of your current level of resilience as the amount of energy you have stored in your inner battery and from which you can draw to handle your daily challenges and tasks. Resilience is the energy you have available to use not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. When you have a high level of resilience or a fully charged inner battery, you have greater capacity to remain calm, think clearly and be in control of your emotions so you don’t overreact. In other words, you can more easily “roll with the punches” and flow through challenges rather than become stressed, which further drains your energy reserves.

Similar to a drained car battery, when your inner battery is depleted, there isn’t energy to draw from when you need it, making it difficult to be at your best and respond well in tough, and some.times, in very ordinary situations. You also may end up draining even more energy.

In the end it also can affect the people around you.

A key in building and maintaining resilience is managing how you spend and renew your energy. The goal is to not waste energy and to effectively replenish the energy that you use.

A very important way to renew energy and recharge your inner battery is by getting enough uninterrupted, regenerative sleep. Sleep is one of the most basic ways the body renews its energy levels. Sometimes though, it’s difficult to get a good, rejuvenating night’s sleep. The techniques you will learn can help you gain more of the benefits of sleep.

It’s essential that you learn to plug energy “leaks” so you don’t come away from situations or interactions feeling depleted. Plugging energy leaks also is very important in building and in sustaining your reserves. Greater reserves enhance your ability to maintain your mental focus and clarity and your emotional composure in difficult situations. As you will see, plugging energy leaks also can help you sleep.

Getting Sleep

When you are more resilient, you actually can gain more benefits from sleep. Most disturbances are due to the carryover effects of stress reactions that occur throughout the day.