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Building resilience – a practical technique

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I believe that real resilience is important for everyone. As a leader it manifests itself in so many of our behaviours.

Feeling stressed and overwhelmed can have a direct impact on the individuals and teams we interact with – the quality of our conversations can suffer and lead to frustration, tensions and conflict.

Resilience is about the ability to bend and flex in order to manage pressure. So, let’s think about our nervous system a little. We can get overwhelmed by the volume of information passing through us all day -everyday!

Calming the nervous system helps us remain emotionally balanced. One of the simplest ways to do this is to breathe. We all take it for granted and we may dismiss breathing as a resilience tool as it is such an unconscious action.

If we take small amounts of mindful focussed time to practise it can have a powerful and positive calming effect. And when we feel calm – we make more rational and considered decisions. We take time to think through actions and consequences. We don’t just react! We pause and choose reactions.

This leads to positive interactions and positive results which can motivate us and our team.

A great simple breath-work technique that you can practise:

1. Take a deep breath into the lower part of your lungs so that you feel your stomach rise.

2. Hold for a count of 5 then release and repeat.

3. Take a deep breath into the upper part of your lungs so that you feel your chest rise.

4. Hold for a count of 5 then release and repeat.

Then simply repeat this process – 2 deep breaths into the lower part of your lungs, followed by 2 deep breaths into the upper part of your lungs.


Next time you feel the stress building, or you feel a frustrated response to a situation, give it a try. Taking time to build our ‘resilience muscle’ is key.

If we take time to exercise to support our physical health we should also consider giving time and space to ensure our brains and communication systems are healthy for us too.

It helps me personally when I feel overwhelmed by workload and life in general. I use it as a coach and facilitator in my work to support others. If you would like to develop yourself and your teams to create positive inclusive cultures where people can thrive rather than buckle under pressure, please call us on 01903 732 782, email us at, or contact us through the website.