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Clodagh Butler, University Limerick, Psychology Matters Day.
In many work contexts daily hassles, interpersonal conflict, the organizational climate and the environmental setting all combine to create both unpredictable and expected job-related stressors. There has been increased attention on workplace well-being in recent years and as not all stressors can be predicted coping effectively is suggested as a useful strategy. Resilience, which refers to bouncing forward as well as bouncing back from an adverse stimulus or negative event, is such a strategy. My research focuses on the bouncing forward side of resilience. That is focusing on what we can do to minimise stress before it occurs (proactivity towards stress). This approach helps individuals see stress as a challenge, not a threat. Typically, it leads to better physical and mental health outcomes in response to stressful experiences than reactive coping.
I believe that proactive coping can safeguard against the negative effects of stress, increase capacity to endure adversity and thus promote positive adaption, i.e. psychological resilience. Therefore, if proactive coping has a role in resilience, then we need to look at becoming more proactive towards our stress. Three key ways to cope proactively are suggested based on best practice to help you thrive not just survive in the workplace.