Debra Jackson and colleagues published a literature review on personal resilience as a survival strategy for nurses. 3 It proposed five self-development strategies: Building nurturing professional relationships and networks, staying positive, developing emotional insight, achieving life balance and spirituality, and becoming more reflective. A 2005 dissertation looked at factors that enable resilient doctoral students from nontraditional backgrounds to overcome adversity. 4 The study found that resilient students were more likely to come from families who are supportive of their education, believe in a higher power, have a sense of purpose, have mentors during their graduate school years, view obstacles as challenges, and give back to their communities and to others. Science and engineering attract a sizeable proportion of international students, who face additional stressors: use of a new language, distance from home and family supports, immersion in a new and different culture, and sometimes racism and xenophobia. In one of the first studies to examine resilience among international students, 5 researchers found that a high level of resilience was the best predictor of adjustment in international graduate students.
Taken together, these studies suggest that it's possible to mitigate the ill effects of workplace stress.
-Make connections with people who can provide social support (e.g., mentors, friends, and colleagues)
-Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable and maintain a long-term view toward the future
-Accept that change (and the need to adapt to it) is part of living
-Focus on small steps and realistic goals that can be accomplished on a regular basis
-Take decisive action rather than wishing problems would go away
-Look for opportunities for self-discovery; learn lessons from stress and adversity
-Nurture a positive view of yourself that allows you to trust your instincts
-Maintain perspective and don't blow things out of proportion
-Take care of yourself mentally and physically
-Meditation and spiritual practices are helpful to some people.