Resilience is a person’s capacity to respond to pressure and the demands of daily life. Dictionary definitions include concepts like flexibility suppleness, durability, strength, speed of recovery and buoyancy. In short, resiliency affects our ability to ‘bounce back’.
We all have resilient qualities. We also have the ability to strengthen our resolve and become stronger, happier individuals.
Resiliency experts say that that people are helped by a particular pattern of attitudes and skills that helps them to survive and thrive under stress. And resilient people share certain traits. They:
- Are optimists. When faced with a setback or traumatic life event, they’re more likely to think I can, and will, get through this.”
- Understand that life is not always perfect or fair. Resilient people accept that life is full of ups ad downs and are ready for both. So if the unexpected happens, they don’t feel it’s the end of the world. Instead, they examine their situation and start problem solving and working towards a solution.
- They accept change. They’re willing and able to adapt to changing circumstances and remain flexible.
- Don’t take themselves too seriously. Being able to laugh at themselves and the predicaments they get themselves into helps keep things in perspective.
- Learn from failure. Resilient people use setbacks to develop better coping skills, problem-solving skills and people skills.
- They have a good support system. When in a tough spot, resilient people know that it’s important to have positive people around who can help them gain perspective, look for solutions, or express their feelings.
- They ask for help. A support system is great, and resilient people know when to reach out for support.
- Identify as survivors, not victims. Resilience people never blame others or see themselves as victims of circumstances. Instead they look for ways to resolve the problem. Even when the situation knocks them down they try to stay focused on a positive outcome.
- Resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary. Developing resilience is a personal journey involving thoughts, behaviour and actions. Anyone can do it.
- Davis-Laack, P. (2014). Seven Things Resilient Employees Do Differently. Psychology Today . Retrieved Septembe 25, 2018 from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/pressure-proof/201410/seven-things-resilient-employees-do-differently.
- Lyubomirsky, S., & Layous, K. (2013). How do simple positive activities increase well-being? Current Directions in Psychological Science. 22(1). 57-62.
- Reivich K., Gillham J.E., Chaplin T.M., Seligman M.E.P. (2013). From Helplessness to Optimism: The Role of Resilience in Treating and Preventing Depression in Youth. In: Goldstein S., Brooks R. (eds.) Handbook of Resilience in Children. Springer, Boston, MA.
- The road to resilience. American Psychological Association. Retrieved October 1, 2018 from: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx.