How to develop emotional resilience

LBS expert shares tips to beat ‘hurry sickness’


Hurry sickness

There is one major problem stopping you from achieving happiness, according to Richard Jolly, Adjunct Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School. 

And that problem is you.

Writing in City A.M., Jolly urges executives to watch out for symptoms of ‘hurry sickness’ – a modern-day affliction which could result in exhaustion and, if not treated, total burn out.

“Enabled by technology, it is now possible to spend your entire career doing absolutely nothing of value for your organisation,” says Jolly. “We spend our days battling emails and sitting in meetings, losing the ability to stop and think – a fundamental skill.

“At the heart of the stress is lack of control. At work and even in our personal lives, we are spending too much time on things we are not passionate about. Some CEOs confess to spending as little as one per cent of their time and energy on the things that will really drive the future success of the business.”

More than 95% of the executives Jolly interviews admit to suffering from ‘hurry sickness’.

“You will know you’re ‘hurry sick’ if, while microwaving something for 30 seconds, you and can’t fight the compulsion to do something else at the same time. Or, you check your phone every seven or eight minutes,” Jolly explains.

Emotional resilience allows you to choose how you respond to stress, and how you manage it. Start by focusing on what really matters to you, Jolly advises.

How to develop emotional resilience:

  • Take control of your time and energy
  • Create boundaries and ‘non-negotiables’. Spend as much time as you can doing things you are positive about
  • Have the courage to confront the difficult conversations – with yourself and with others
  • Praise and thank people in your social network. Expressing positive feelings has a powerful effect on your stress levels
  • See your friends (the people that leave you feeling energised by the experience). People with few social relationships have a 50% higher mortality rate
  • Aim for clear, realistic goals – never set yourself up for failure. Take some risks once in a while. Don’t be paralysed by fear
  • Remember that you control how you respond to what happens to you