Resilience is the ability to cope with and recover from setbacks. People who remain calm in the face of disaster have resilience.
people with psychological resilience can use their skills and strengths to respond to life’s challenges like the death of a loved one, divorce, financial issues, illness, etc.
Resilient people often have several different characteristics that help them weather life’s challenges. Some of the signs of resilience include:
A survivor mentality:
When people are resilient, they view themselves as survivors. They know that even when things are difficult, they can keep going until they make it through.
Effective emotional regulation:
Resilience is marked by an ability to manage emotions in the face of stress. This doesn’t mean that resilient people don’t experience strong emotions such as anger, sadness, or fear. It means that they recognize those feelings are temporary and can be managed until they pass.
When problems arise, resilient people look at the situation rationally and try to come up with solutions that will make a difference.
Another sign of resilience is showing self-acceptance and self-compassion. They treat themselves with kindness, especially when things are hard.
Types of resilience
Resilience represents an ability to handle life’s setbacks and is an overall representation of adaptability. However, there are also different types of resilience:
Physical resilience refers to how the body deals with change and recovers from physical demands, illnesses, and injuries. Research suggests that this type of resilience plays an important role in health.
Physical resilience is something that people can improve—to a certain extent—by making healthy lifestyle choices.
Mental resilience refers to a person’s ability to adapt to change and uncertainty. People who possess this type of resilience are flexible and calm during times of crisis.
Emotional resilience involves being able to regulate emotions during times of stress. Resilient people are aware of their emotional reactions and tend to be in touch with their inner life. Because of this, they are also able to calm their mind and manage their emotions when they are dealing with negative experiences.
Social resilience, which may also be called community resilience, involves the ability of groups to recover from difficult situations.
How to become more resilient?
Fortunately, resilience is something that people can build in themselves. Parents can also help their children become resilient. There are distinct steps that can lead to greater resilience.
Good relationships with close family members, friends, or others are important. Accepting help and support from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens resilience. Some people find that being active in civic groups, faith-based organizations, or other local groups provides social support and can help with reclaiming hope.
Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems
You can’t change the fact that highly stressful events happen, but you can change how you interpret and respond to these events. Try looking beyond the present to how future circumstances may be a little better.
Accept that change is a part of living
Certain goals may no longer be attainable as a result of adverse situations. Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter.
Move toward your goals
Develop some realistic goals. Do something regularly — even if it seems like a small accomplishment — that enables you to move toward your goals.
Take decisive actions
Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive actions, rather than detaching completely from problems and stresses and wishing they would just go away.
Nurture a positive view of yourself
Developing confidence in your ability to solve problems and trusting your instincts helps build resilience.
Keep things in perspective
Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Avoid blowing the event out of proportion.
Take care of yourself
Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly. Taking care of yourself helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with situations that require resilience.
Reframe negative thoughts
Resilient people can look at negative situations realistically, but in a way that doesn’t center on blame or brooding over what cannot be changed. Instead of viewing adversity as insurmountable, reframe thoughts to look for small ways to tackle the problem and make changes that will help.
Building healthy stress management habits is an effective way to increase overall resilience. These habits could include behaviors that help overall health, like getting enough sleep and exercise, as well as specific actions to take during moments of stress, like cognitive restructuring, diaphragmatic breathing exercises, expressive writing, problem-solving strategies, and progressive muscle relaxation.
The bottom line:
Being a resilient person can help you to manage hard situations better.
If you are struggling to cope with challenges, don’t be afraid to talk to your healthcare provider or mental health professional. Even resilient people need help and part of being resilient is knowing when to ask for support and assistance.