The peaceful and happy state of mind ensures wellness, happiness, excellent leadership, enhanced focus, decision-making, productivity, and greater concentration at work. Here are five science-backed strategies to build-resilence:

Be Compassionate

Compassion is a beautiful phenomenon that allows us to emotionally relate to other human beings with a desire to help. Having self-compassion and compassion for others both can provide you with a cushion and a sense of balance, which will keep your relationship with yourself and others harmonious and productive.

Researchers have found that practicing compassion makes the person exercising it becomes more resilient under stress; it lowers stress hormones in the blood; and strengthens the immune response. Psychologists Diener and Seligma suggest that connecting with others can bring about a healthy physical and mental state. Given that so much of our lives are spent at the workplace, then why not practice compassion with our own team first? The more compassionately we connect, the deeper our satisfaction, according to an article by Hallowell, a child and adult psychiatrist in the New York Times. You can become a better manager by strengthening your ability to express compassion. You can move from a stressful state of mind to a peaceful one.

Cultivate Forgiveness

 How to deal with the baggage of the past? That’s where forgiveness becomes important. Forgiveness is just like dropping away a heavy metal of ball from your hands and walking forward with light heartedness! The simple formula is to let go… When we fail to forgive, we fail to work towards reconciliation. And we cultivate an atmosphere of blame, which cripples creativity. Or we become defensive, which hampers trust-building in the workplace.

Let’s see it with this example: David, the project manager, missed the deadline to submit his work along with the team. He’d had some problems that took more time to resolve. When the CEO found out about the missed deadline, instead of blaming, she offered special assistance to David and explained how to resolve the problem. David was grateful for the CEO’s gesture and came away with a sense of togetherness with the company.

When people work in a forgiving culture, they expand creativity, foster compassion, and build a sense of togetherness and team spirit. By the same token, when we forgive others, we free ourselves and move ahead with a clear conscience and without the weight of anger. Fred Luskin, in his Stanford Forgiveness Project, concluded that “Forgiveness may prove effective in reducing anger as a coping strategy.”

Practice Gratitude

The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for what IS, is gratitude.

A study published in Psychological Science reveals that expressing gratitude even when nothing big is underway can increase your well-being and help regulate stress, and even making little effort to express gratitude can have a meaningful effect on the recipient of your thanks. In fact, token of gratefulness blossoms your heart and their heart too. It’s an absolute two-way process and a win-win situation. Why not make gratitude a part of your daily life?

There are lot of times when we might try to get it perfect and stop ourselves from expressing gratitude. Don’t worry about getting it perfect, it’s better to say it than saying nothing at all. Your simple words like, you’re amazing or you made my day, can elevate entire environment around you and can act like an easy-instant-mood-booster too. Our relationship with others is the greatest determinant of our happiness. So, it meaningful to think of people around us to build the gratitude. Your Happify activity of expressing gratitude may involve people or situations to be grateful for.

According to a research study by psychologist Adam Grant and Francesca Gino, a thank you can go a long way. As a senior if you express thanks you can make your employees feel a strong sense of self-worth and confidence. The study also revealed that being thankful can create a ripple-effect of trust and cooperation among teams.


Volunteering doesn’t only help you in staying fit in terms of finding a mental engagement, but it also gives a deeper dense of purpose to life.  Mark Snyder, a psychologist and head of the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society at the University of Minnesota. “It seems to run against the strong dynamics of self-interest. There is simply nothing in society that says that someone is mandated to help anyone else.” 

Volunteering gives deeper satisfaction to life. It is also helpful in teaching valuable skills to thrive together. It not only boosts our self-esteem, but it also gives a bigger vision to understand the valuable aspect of being “selfless and helpful” to others. Though we volunteer thinking that we will make a positive difference to others life but if we introspect carefully, we will find that we make a huge-positive impact to our own consciousness first. I volunteer as a Facilitator for SKY Campus Happiness Program, while helping students transform, I have noticed deeper transformation in myself.

Meditate and Breathe

Science has proved that practicing meditation and certain breathing techniques nurtures both alertness and a relaxed state of mind. A growing number of studies show breathing techniques are effective for anxiety and insomnia. These techniques influence:

1) Physiological (by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system) and;

2) Psychological factors (by deflecting attention from thoughts).

Practicing techniques for a relaxed and peaceful mind helps us achieve mental focus and heightened awareness. Meditation is the means through which you can strike a balance between activity and rest. If you decide to meditate even for ten minutes each day, accompanied by breathing practices, the meditation will start to calm your mind, discipline your brain and bring you joy. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, says, “The secret lies in our own breath. Through breathing exercises, certain breathing techniques and some practice of meditation, we can rekindle positive vibrations within and around us.”

I hope with those five ways to build stress resilience supported by science, you will achieve your professional and personal goals.


  • Pooja Shrivastava, Ph.D.

    Executive Coach, Organizational Behavioral Psychologist, and Adjunct Faculty

    University of Oklahoma

    Pooja Shrivastava, Ph.D. is a certified Executive Coach for Leadership Development and an Adjunct Professor of Organizational Behavioral Psychology at The University of Oklahoma. Her custom-tailored approach emphasizes leadership development, diversity and inclusion, and stress resilience to enhance the quality of the global work environment. Her 15 years of experience involves industry training, consulting, teaching, and coaching leaders from corporate, NGOs, military, non-profits, and healthcare organizations.