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Why wellbeing and resilience matter

Wellbeing is more than being happy, and resilience is more than bouncing back from challenges. Wellbeing expert Kim Tay explains the two concepts and tells us why they matter.

Watch: The value of wellbeing and resilience

Video transcript: The value of wellbeing and resilience

[Audio/ Visual: Gentle music starts playing as a blue introduction screen with wording “Brave in business e-learning series” pops up.] 

[Visual: Blue introduction screen with white logo. The word “presents” in smaller, thinner lettering is beneath the logo. These words disappear and are replaced with white text “Brave in business e-learning series”. These disappear. White text saying “The negativity bias and mental flexibility with Kim Tay The Wellbeing Works” then appear in the centre of the screen.]

[Visual: The screen changes to a profile shot of Kim Tay, sitting in an office space. In the bottom left is her name in white lettering, which fades after a few seconds. In the bottom right is the logo which remains there until the end of the video.]

There’s a lot of talk about wellbeing and resilience, but what do these words actually mean?

[Visual: White lettering saying “Wellbeing is feeling good and functioning well” are shown on Kim’s left-hand side. These disappear after 10 seconds.]

The most simple and useful definition of wellbeing comes from experts Keyes and Annas, it’s feeling good and functioning well.

Feeling good is easy to understand – it’s experiencing positive emotions, being happy, being satisfied with life.

But wellbeing is more than just about happiness. It’s also about:

  • how we function,
  • how we show up in the world,
  • what our sense of purpose and motivation is,
  • how well we can maintain strong supportive relationships, master new skills and reach our potential.

[Visual: the screen blurs to a semi opaque, light blue background and a medium blue circle grows in the centre with the word “Wellbeing”. The circle then splits into two blue circles. One a medium blue with the word “Resources” in it and one dark blue with the word “Challenges” in it. The “Resources” circle sits on the left-hand side of the screen. The medium blue circle then grows larger, causing the dark blue “Challenges” circle to shrink and fully blur into the background. The words “Psychological”, “Social”, “Spiritual”, and “Physical” show up as a list underneath the Resources header. The dark blue “Challenges” circle then grows, whilst the “Resources” circle shrinks and blurs into the background. The words “Psychological”, “Social”, and “Physical” show up as a list underneath the Challenges header.] 

We achieve wellbeing when we have more resources than challenges. By ‘resources’ we mean psychological, social, spiritual and physical resources. By ‘challenges’ we mean psychological, social, and physical challenges.

The more we develop our wellbeing, the more we develop our ability to cope with challenge.

This is why developing our wellbeing can help us become more resilient. 

As our wellbeing improves, we can face more challenges. Think about when you first set up your business. You were probably not able to handle a lot of challenge. But as you learnt more, you’ve become able to handle more.

[Visual: White lettering to the right of Kim saying, “Resilience is how you get through threat, stress, challenge and adversity” The words disappear after 5 seconds.]

What about resilience? Most people typically think resilience is about bouncing back from adversity. But it’s more about how you get through threat, stress, challenge & adversity, so you continue to feel good and function well (or get back to feeling good and functioning well).

The process of getting through challenges can be hard, messy, and really difficult. But we learn through that process and improve. We don’t necessarily bounce back to where we were before.

We acquire skills along the way.

Resilience gets us out of a black hole. Wellbeing takes us a step further — away from the hole and into the sunshine.

Expert Dr Karen Reivich tells us that resilience helps us in four ways. The first three ways are responding to things that happen.

[Visual: White lettering saying “Resilience helps” in bold appears on the left-hand side of Kim Tay. After 5 seconds the words “Overcome obstacles of childhood” appear in smaller lettering underneath “Resilience helps”.]

  • Resilience enables us to overcome the obstacles of early childhood like poverty, abuse, and neglect.

[Visual: The words “Navigate everyday adversities” replace the words “Overcome obstacles of childhood” in the same lettering.]

  • Resilience helps us navigate everyday stresses, such as road rage, grumpy people, and tough deadlines.

[Visual: The words “Get through big life challenges” replace the words “Navigate everyday adversities” in the same lettering.]

  • And resilience gets us through the really big challenges in life, like divorce, death, injury, illness, and redundancy.

[Visual: The words “Stretch us” replace the words “Get through big life challenges” in the same lettering.]

The fourth way is about being able to stretch and grow.

  • Resilience helps us to take on new challenges, to reach out and achieve all we are capable of — like starting a new business, moving countries, and running a marathon.

[Visual: The screen recentres on Kim Tay and the wording disappears.]

If we want to be able to grow and embrace opportunities, we need resilience to help us reach our potential.

Resilience comes from the ways we choose to think and the ways we choose to act.

But building resilience is not a spectator sport. Just like trying to get fit physically, you have to get off the couch, and do a little bit every day. Building wellbeing and resilience takes commitment and effort, but small things add up over time.

Join us on two micro courses to build resilience with tools for resilient ways of thinking and acting. The first course is about building mental flexibility. The second gives you tools to get sharp and stay sharp — for performing under pressure, calming down in a conflict situation and calming other people down in a conflict situation.

[Visual: Blue outro screen appears with the logo in the centre of the screen. This logo disappears and the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment logo appears on the left-hand side and the Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa, New Zealand Government logo appears on the right-hand side.

[Video ends]

Back to the e-learning series

Return to the “Performing under pressure” e-learning series or the “Mental flexibility” e-learning series for more practical advice on wellbeing and resilience.

Performing under pressure e-learning series

Mental flexibility e-learning series

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