The word resilience refers to the capacity to quickly recover from difficulties and setbacks that we endure on the daily. When you’re resilient, you harness inner strength whereas if you lack resilience, you might dwell on problems and feel victimized. Resilience is a contextual process of successful coping in the face of adversity, risk, or significant change in one’s life and leads to an individual’s sense of self-efficacy and confidence. Even though being resilient won’t make your problems disappear, it will help you to see the bigger picture, see past your problems, and handle stress better.
Those who have suffered major hardship or trauma in their lives usually experience emotional pain and stress. In fact, the path to resilience is expected to contain significant emotional distress. While certain aspects might make some people more resilient than others, resilience isn’t necessarily a personality trait that only some individuals possess - it includes behaviors, thoughts, and actions that anyone can learn to develop.
As much as resilience involves “bouncing back” from difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth. Resilience can also help protect you from numerous mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, by mitigating factors that increase the risk of mental health conditions, such as being bullied or other forms of trauma. There are various ways to build your resiliency in order to face adversity and daily stressors better. See below!
1. The Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) Program
This program was developed by Dr. Amit Sood at Mayo Clinic in order to decrease symptoms of stress, anxiety and burnout while increasing resilience, wellbeing, mindfulness, happiness and positive health behaviors. The main pillars are:
Reframe your situation
Lean on your social network
Cultivate positive thinking
2. Build Connections
Prioritize relationships. Bond with empathetic and understanding people that remind you that you’re not alone. Focus on finding reliable and compassionate individuals who validate your feelings.
3. Foster Wellness
Taking care of your body and practicing mindfulness are essential for building resilience. Cultivating positive lifestyle factors such as proper nutrition, regular exercise, sleep hygiene and hydration can strengthen your body and reduce the toll that stress takes on it.
4. Find Purpose
Being proactive, moving towards your goals, and looking for opportunities for self-discovery are vital for building resilience. Having a purpose can carry us through difficult times and bring meaning to our lives.
As humans, we all go through hardship and trauma, sometimes even without realizing it. Accepting change, maintaining a hopeful outlook, and learning from our past are all ways to help build our resilience and keep us afloat through moments of hardship.