Psychologist Resilience

What is Resilience, and why is Resilience Important?

High-resilient people are adaptable, flexible, and able to thrive in constantly changing circumstances. Resilient people expect themselves to bounce back, and they feel confident they will. They can create positive outcomes from events many people consider to be bad. These people are optimistic and adapt well to continuous, disruptive change.

Resilience refers to the ability to endure, recover and bounce back in stressful situations. Resilient people don’t ruminate on their failures, but instead, they acknowledge them, learn from them, and move on. Resiliency can be taught and improved through practice.

Three main traits characterize the mindset of resilient people:

  • People who are resilient view stress as a motivating force to overcome challenges and tackle root causes. This view comes in stark contrast to the more common approach to stress, where it’s seen as a paralyzing or unfortunate force that overwhelms instead of motivates
  • Personal control. Resilient people are usually able to face challenges and overcome them. Resilient people tend to think outside the box to find solutions to their problems and see possibilities, even when it seems impossible to control. For example, if a resilient person loses their job, they would likely see it as an opportunity to explore new options and move forward rather than losing self-esteem or experiencing depression.
  • Resilient people may persevere with their coping efforts due to their active and engaged view of challenges. This view motivates them to impact their environment and persist even when things don’t go their way—resilient people strive to find meaning and solve problems.

Emotions like fear, anxiety, anger, distress, hopelessness, and helplessness can reduce your ability to solve problems and weaken resilience. Moreover, worrying and constant fear can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness. Sometimes it is impossible to avoid rapid change or difficult situations. However, you don’t have to panic or feel hopeless.

It would be wonderful to be able to reduce stress ultimately, but that is not realistic. However, we can learn to become more resilient. We cannot avoid stress, but we can learn to cope with it.

How to manage and strengthen your resilience

To build resiliency, we must condition ourselves to do so. Just like you’d go to the gym multiple times a week to build muscle, building resiliency is something that we must do regularly.

Here are some general tips for building resilience:
  • Establish and maintain relationships. It is important to have close, loving relationships with your family, friends, and other people. Resilience grows when you accept support and help from people who care about you. Moreover, your resilience usually is increased by helping others too — being compassionate and empathic positively impacts your resilience.
  • Do not view crises as impossible problems – While we cannot change that stressful events do happen, we can alter how we respond to them. Try looking at the future to see how things might change in a positive light and how a moment of crisis may also lead to improvements. Look for that silver lining.
  • Accept that stress and change are part of life – Life can sometimes be challenging. Accepting circumstances that we cannot change can help us shift our perspective to other things that we can alter.
  • Maintain a positive outlook of yourself – You can build self-confidence in your ability to problem-solve. Remaining calm under pressure is a powerful tool that may also help with confidence and self-esteem.
  • Move towards the direction of your goals – Set realistic goals. Even if it seems small, do something every day that helps you move towards your goals. Rather than focusing on impossible tasks, ask yourself: “What is one thing that I can do today that will help me reach my goal?”
  • Take decisive actions – Addressing any negative situations as soon as possible is essential. Instead of wishing that problems and stress would disappear, take action and act. Avoidance is a common problem that can make people feel stuck.
  • Keep your sense of humor – It can be a great stress relief to laugh in the face of difficulties, depending on if it’s appropriate for the situation. However, humor can reduce tension if the situation is suitable for humor, which is particularly important when under constant stress. When it’s a grave situation, humor can come off as inconsiderate and offensive.
  • Keep a positive outlook. Positive outlooks allow us to believe that positive things will happen. Rather than worrying about the things you fear, try to focus on the things you want.
  • Take care of your body. Be aware of your feelings and needs. Do activities you find relaxing or bring you joy. Self-care is essential to keep your body and mind healthy so you can deal with difficult situations. Try to eat healthily and regularly, sleep well, and exercise.

*All the information published in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Any information provided here is offered in generic form. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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