Resilience: The Main Ingredients


Resilience is the ability to bounce back from stresses, setbacks and challenges. Think of someone running a long race. If the runner is in good physical condition and free from serious injuries, chances are pretty good that the recovery time after the race will be pretty brief – this reflects physical resilience. Similarly, when you experiences an emotionally stressful life challenge (a serious argument with a family member, a close friend who is ill or a poor performance on an important exam for example) there are ways you can learn to be more resilient – to manage the stress and bounce back quicker. The main building blocks (or ingredients) of resilience include:

Good Coping Skills
Coping skills includes lots of different things. Among these are being physically and emotionally healthy, learning to be mindful and thoughtful, maintaining a positive outlook, finding meaning in life’s activities and challenges, keeping yourself organized and asking for help when you need it. And even in the midst of challenges, it is really useful to not just focus on your limits and shortcomings but also on your skills and the things that you are good at. You can read more about coping skills here.

Healthy, Supportive Relationships
Having people in your corner who support, love and value you is essential to emotional health, happiness and resilience. When we are down, having a hard time or dealing with adversity we will feel and adapt better when we feel supported by people we can depend on. Consider this – even super heroes are always part of a team or have some kind of helper or sidekick who often helps them out of jams.

The Ability to be Alone
If you are confident in your relationships and supports, you are also better at managing and spending time on your own. And being able to use time alone effectively and productively – spending time thinking through problems, considering your talents, strengths, goals and values – is an essential component of being resilient.

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