Resilience is the process of adapting well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even sources of stress. It means bouncing back from difficult experiences, whether those are common, like academic stresses or roommate conflicts, or less common, like disasters or assault.
There are five characteristics resilient people have in common, which most people can easily develop.
- Resilient people have caring and supportive relationships, both in their families and in their communities. Learning to deepen caring relationships and to use them when needed helps develop this characteristic.
- Resilient people generally are able to have a positive view of themselves and learn to have confidence in their strengths and abilities. They can accept their strengths and weaknesses without comparing themselves to others all the time.
- The capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses doesn't mean being stoic all the time. It does mean being able to recognize and accept feelings, and learning the difference between having a feeling and acting on it impulsively.
- The capacity to make realistic plans and take steps to carry them out is another important part of bouncing back. This begins with focusing on the problem instead of casting blame, and figuring out the first step to take.
- Skills in communication and problem solving help people deal with difficulties in many ways, from being able to seek support to advocating for oneself; from prioritizing time to breaking down a problem into small steps.
The APA Health Center details ten ways to build resilience.
- Make Connections
- Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems
- Accept that change is a part of living