Resilience is the trait that gives people the mental and psychological strength to deal with adversity. It is the psychological reserve of strength that individuals call upon in times of need to carry them through the hard times. Numerous psychologists believe that resilient individuals are more prepared to handle difficult situations. Furthermore, said individuals are also more capable of rebuilding their lives following a catastrophic event. Dealing with change or loss is an inescapable part of life.
Everyone experiences some sort of setback at some point. Some of these challenges are of a lesser degree, while others are simply disastrous on a far larger scale. Nonetheless, how we deal with said obstacles plays an essential role in not only the outcome but also the lasting psychological ramifications.
What is Resilience?
Have you ever noticed how some people seem to remain calm in the face of disaster while others flat out panic? Those who keep their cool have what psychologists call resilience, or the ability to manage problems and setbacks.
Resilient individuals utilize their skills and strengths to manage and recover from problems and challenges. Such problems may include unemployment, fiscal downfalls, illness, acts of God (ie natural disasters) divorce, or the death of a loved one.
Rather than falling into a downtrodden state of despair, resilient individuals take life’s challenges head-on. This does not by any means mean that they experience less distress, grief, or anxiety than the average person. However, it does mean that they handle said challenges in ways that foster strength and growth. In most cases, they emerge strong then they were before.
Those who lack this sort of resilience are typically overwhelmed by such experiences. They tend to dwell o problems and rely on unhealthy coping methods to deal with life’s challenges.
Disappointment or failure might drive them to unhealthy, destructive, or potentially even dangerous actions. These sorts of individuals are slower to respond to setbacks and may experience more psychological distress as a result.
The Power of Resilience
Resilience does not, by any means or measure, eliminate stress or do away with life’s challenges. People who exhibit resilience don’t experience life through rose-tinted glasses.
However, they understand that setbacks happen and that life is hard and painful at times. They experience pain, grief, and a sense of loss that comes after tragedy. Furthermore, their mental outlook allows them to work through said feelings and recover.
Resilience gives individuals the power to tackle problems head-on, overtake adversity and move on with their lives. In the time that follows traumas, many individuals demonstrate behaviors that typify resilience.
They not only remain strong in the face of unbearable losses, but they also carry on and even provide emotional support to others affected by similar tragedies. Even when faced with events that seem utterly unimaginable, people can muster the strength to not only survive but thrive.
Some individuals come about these abilities naturally, via personality traits that help them remain strong in the face of adversity. However, these characteristics are not just inborn traits found in a select group of individuals. According to experts, resilience is actually quite common. Furthermore, people are very capable of learning the skills that are required to become more resilient.
Social support is another key variable that contributes to resilience. Mentally strong individuals tend to have the support of family and friends who help bolster them up in times of trouble.
Other factors linked to resilience include:
- Maintaining positive views of themselves and their abilities
- The ability to make realistic plans and stick to them
- Having an internal locus of control
- Being a strong communicator
- Viewing themselves as fighters rather than victims
- Having high emotional intelligence and managing emotions effectively