A major buzz word that circulates many domains is resilience. It is one of the most popular topics for positive psychology and for good reason. Resilience, in a nutshell, is an individual’s ability to bounce back and adapt from setbacks and challenges they have faced in their life. The way we react to the mistakes or failures we experience in our lives can either make us or break us.
For many years, resilience has been seen to significantly increase our mental wellbeing and lead to greater performance at work, exercise, sport or school. A few benefits include:
Why is it important?
- Lower rates of depression
- Increase satisfaction with life
- Greater performance in both your personal and work-life
Certain characteristics that are closely associated with resilience is optimism, emotional regulation, internal locus of control, empathy, goal setting, to name a few. The best thing about resilience is that it is not a set genetic trait. Instead, it is a trait that we can continually develop in life. By developing it, it can contribute to how you react and move on from the upsets that you experience. There are different areas of your life which these characteristics fall into. These being the Behavioural, Cognitive, Physical and Social areas in life.
How can we become more resilient?
Resiliency falls in 4 domains. To build your resiliency, you can work on these specific skills to build up each one of these domains:
The behaviours we engage in can play a role in how to respond to tricky situations and mentally come to terms with them. Behavioural actions include how we set goals, how we solve problems and how we manage our time. A specific strategy that is well-spoken about in the psychology world is setting SMART goals. Resilient individuals often set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-specific.
Our mindset and the way we think can influence our ability to cope with stress and adversity. Individuals who score high on resiliency are more optimistic, have an internal locus of control and effectively regulate their emotions. Being optimistic of your future can help build your resilience as it is giving you a positive outlook on your life. It helps you become aware of what you want your future to look like. Locus of control can also impact our resilience as our beliefs and actions that indicate the way we take control. By focusing on what YOU can control can bring your locus of control internal which ultimately gives you your sense of power back. A strong ability to regulate emotions is also important for resilience as you can control the way you respond emotionally to implement effective solutions for yourself in the future.
Although resiliency stems around how we mentally overcome challenges, it also includes how we physically bounce back. This includes the physical aspects of our life that can impact our resiliency. This includes our energy levels (e.g. sleep, rest), keeping a healthy eating and drinking regime, engaging in self-care activities and exercise.
Last but not least, is the social aspect of our life. Humans are social beings. We love to have a yarn and build relationships with others. We also look to rely on others when we get knocked down. Having a strong support network can build us up in many different ways. Not only does it increase our satisfaction in life, but it also teaches us to:
- Form and maintain relationships
- Communicate effectively
By focusing on the little aspects within these areas of your life, it can provide an immense amount of benefits for you and your mental health. Remember, resilience is not fixed. Resilience is an opportunity for you to grow your resiliency and become the person you want to be.