Resilience exists in all of us, and it is not some unique character trait imparted to a select few. This strength that emerges within us when we experience something traumatic that allows us to get back up again is resilience. And we can all think of a time when we felt like we couldn’t bear the weight of the world any longer but somehow sprung into action again and decided that life was worth living even in its darkest moments.
However, this innate mental strength is something we can build upon, as an emotional muscle, to help us be ready for the next time the universe decides to write us a plot twist. It doesn’t mean you’ll become a robot who doesn’t feel anymore; instead, resilience means healthily coping with your emotions so that you can heal. So how do we do that, exactly?
What Makes A Resilient Person?
When life throws you curveballs, they’re an experience for you to grow. Resilience isn’t just about bouncing back; it’s about allowing yourself to be malleable so that you can adapt to the new circumstances in your life.
The American Psychological Association describes resilience as” the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors.”
Someone who takes negative stressors and turns them into learning experiences to take that knowledge and learn to navigate those stressors over time better is what makes a resilient person. It also gives you the confidence to challenge yourself more, knowing you have the skills to recover if things don’t work out.
The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale
In 2003, researchers Kathryn M. Connor and Jonathan R.T. Davidson devised a study to determine if they could measure resilience on a quantifiable scale to determine if resilience could be improved with treatment. Interestingly, the scale is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to your life. In fact, the scale can be applied to more than one area of your life.
“The study also surmised that it is possible to perform well in one area such as work, in the face of adversity, but function poorly in another area, such as personal relationships.”, writes Leslie Riopel, MSc.
The scale contains 25 different resilience measures, anywhere from being able to think clearly under pressure to demonstrating pride in your achievements. In other words, if building your resilience is something you’re interested in accomplishing, it is not beyond your reach.
Techniques To Build Resilience
Here are just a few things you can do if you want to become a more resilient person that are by no means quick tricks, but tiny things you can implement into your daily life that will add up to a more robust future you.
Put Yourself First
It can be tempting to measure your with by how much you do for others, or even to feel unworthy of the time you put into nurturing yourself, but the more you make an effort to care for yourself, whether it’s doing things you love, getting exercise, or eating healthy – when life tests you, you’ll always know you’ve always got your back.
Build Connections With Others
As strong as you are on your own, however, having a solid network of loved ones is vital to remind you that there’s always someone you can talk to when things get tough or ask for help. They’re also crucial for making sure that the good times are great.
Be Proactive About Your Problems
You may want to go about living your life as though there isn’t a problem at all. Still, all that’s going to do is make things worse by delaying the inevitable and potentially turning the situation into something much more complex than it would be if you had taken care of it earlier. Make a plan for yourself. A setback doesn’t mean there’s no way to move forward.
Last Updated on July 1, 2023 by Lucy Clarke