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  • philhutchinson

Stress Kettles!

This is a concept and graphic of my own design which I created to illustrate levels of personal resilience and the impact of stress...

The idea is that you have either high, medium or low levels of personal resilience, as indicated by the three dotted lines on the kettle.

We always have a certain quantity of emotion bubbling away at the bottom of the kettle but difficult and demanding situations or events occur which cause a peak in our stress levels. Amongst other things, the size and nature of the situation dictates how high the subsequent peak reaches and whether it breaks through our levels of resilience. The red arrows underneath the kettles represent the differing sizes of these difficult situations and the purple peak arrows show the size of the reactions.

The images demonstrate that a large issue or event can cause a peak that crashes up through even the highest level of resilience. For example, bereavement or loss of a loved one will cause stress that breaks through your calm regardless of whether your resilience level is currently high, medium or low.

Conversely a minor issue or event is unlikely to cause a spike which breaks through your calm if your resilience levels are high or medium. For example, if you loose your stapler, it isn't likely to cause a massive impact to the resilient person!

The problem is that our levels fluctuate and change depending on a range of things including energy level, state of mind, mental health and wellbeing to name but a few. If our resilience levels remain low, even the smallest difficulties will continue to result in strong emotional reactions (often described as "over reactions") which, if left unchecked can have long lasting detrimental effects on our mental and physical health.

So, keep an eye on the type of reactions you may be experiencing and if you can't control or impact the situations or causes, maybe you can impact or affect your resilience levels.

Things you might want to consider include:

  • Energy levels and work/life balance

  • Relaxing and recharging activities

  • Maintaining your interpersonal connections

  • Diet, physical health and exercise

  • Helping others and feel-good activities

  • Reframing for positivity

It often helps to talk these things through with someone as a different perspective is sometimes all you need to see things in a new light or to challenge your preconceptions.

All tweaks and changes however small will have an impact on your general health and wellbeing and help you maintain high and healthy levels of personal resilience.

If you need any support or just someone to chat this through with, drop me a line and I will be happy to help in any way I can.

All the best

Phil @ Lantern

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