Building Resilience



By Elizabeth Sukys-Rice, MSW

“Resilience – is the capacity of a system, enterprise, or person to maintain its core purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstances. “
– Andrew Zolli
What is Resilience?
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from traumatic events, stress, challenges, tragedy and adversity in life. When we possess resilience, we are braver, more curious, more adaptable, and more able to extend our reach into the world. The scientists who study stress and resilience encourage us to think of resilience as an emotional muscle that can be strengthened at any time. Resilience is not a personality trait that a person has or does not have, it involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.

10 Ways to Build Resilience

  • Make Connections – Having support from family members, friends or others strengthens resilience. Helping others in times of need also is a benefit to the helper.
  • Avoid Seeing Crises as Insurmountable Problems – an opportunity to look beyond the current situation, use of reframing to look at how the future circumstances might actually be better
  • Accept that Change is a Part of a Living – Focus on circumstances that you can change and accept the ones that cannot be changed
  • Moving Toward Your Goals – Take some time to develop realistic goals. Try to make your goals small accomplishments so you can feel as if you were able to accomplish things today which will motivate you to move on into a new direction.
  • Take Decisive Actions – be in action rather than detaching completely from problems, work on moving through them.
    Look for Opportunities for Self-Discovery – let the adversity be an opportunity to realize some of your skills, traits and strengths, se
    e how you can grow through this experience
  • Nurture a Positive View of Yourself – Realizing your abilities and being able to believe in yourself builds resilience.
  • Keep Things in Perspective – when faced with very painful experiences try to see it from a broader perspective, avoid blowing the event out of proportion.
  • Maintain a Hopeful Outlook – Express that good things will happen, visualize what you want, don’t get caught up in fear.
  • Take Care of Yourself – be sure to pay attention to your own needs and feelings find a way to relax, get exercise, meditate, keep your body and mind strong.
  • Additional Ways of Strengthening Resiliene May be Helpful – find ways that work for you, maybe it’s spiritual practices or building connections develop your own personal strategy for fostering resilience.

Places to Look for Help

  • Self-help and support groups.
  • Books and other publications by people who have successfully managed adverse situations such as surviving cancer.
  • Online resources
  • A licensed mental health professional

At some point in time we will all have to face adversity and trauma, betrayal of trust, fear and shame. Through practice, we can develop a stronger sense of resilience, that ability to bounce back from challenging situations and find comfort to keep us afloat when times get tough.

All or a portion of this Blog was obtained through the American Psychology Association. For the full article follow this link


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