What is Resilience?
You have probably heard the word ‘resilience’ more than a few times in life. Generally, we think of resilience as being able to ‘bounce back’ from anything that happens in life, but it’s much more than that.
Resilience allows us to not only recover from difficulties, but also to develop the ability to handle future difficulties better.
Emotional resilience refers to our ability to adjust to challenges and difficulties, and help manage the highs and lows of life. While it won’t eradicate stress or eliminate challenges in your life, it helps to enable individuals to confront or embrace problems, face adversity and continue moving forward in life.
A resilient person has strong coping skills, and is able to use their learned coping strategies, ask for help if needed, and find new ways to manage the situation they are facing. People with strong resilience are able to use their skills and strengths to respond healthily to life’s challenges, which can include those related to:
- the death of a loved one
- divorce or relationship breakdown
- financial problems
- job loss
- medical emergencies
- natural disasters
Instead of falling into despair or using unhealthy coping strategies, resilient people are able to use the tools at their disposal to face difficulties head-on.
This doesn’t mean that resilient people are not going to experience strong emotions during a difficult time, but that they will be able to manage those emotions better than before.
There are four main types of resilience:
- Physical resilience
- Mental resilience
- Emotional resilience
- Social resilience
Physical resilience is strength that people can get by improving their physical wellbeing – making healthy choices. This includes things like getting a good nights sleep, eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly.
Mental resilience is a person’s ability to adapt to change or uncertainty. People who are mentally resilient can stay calm during a crisis, and are flexible and adaptable. They use their strength to move forward, foster hope and optimism and solve problems.
Emotional resilience is being able to recognise and regulate your emotions well during a stressful time. They are aware of their emotions and the reactions that come from them, and are in touch with their inner self. They are able to manage and calm emotions when dealing with stress or negativity.
Social resilience involves connecting with others and working together to get through and recover from difficult situations. It’s a community working together to solve problems that affect the group both individually and collectively. Examples of social resilience are when communities come together during natural disasters or stressful events in their own communities.