When we often talk about resilience, we talk about it without adequately knowing what it means or why it’s crucial. It leads to the word being lost in translation and using it as a confident phrase or trait when it is not needed or unhelpful in certain situations.
I’m going to shed some light on what resilience is, where it is genuinely needed, and how it looks different for different types of people.
What is resilience?
Resilience is a psychological tool that is used when we need to adapt to certain situations. It helps us to cope and push through with those situations we need to adapt to.
However, it isn’t just a one-fits-all type and looks different for different people.
For example, you have mental resilience and physical resilience. And even with mental resilience, there are three different types.
Inherent resilience- the resilience you naturally have
Learnt resilience- This one is that we’ve built up over time and rely on during challenging situations
Adapted resilience- resilience we use a lot and comes from great experiences and exceptionally tough situations.
Why is resilience needed?
Resilience is needed throughout life. It’s not plain sailing. Sometimes the waves will be small and only scratch the surface of the boat. Other times the current will be so strong the waves will put you under.
You need to be able to swim ashore or patch the boat up, and having strong resilience will help with that.
It can stop you from completely breaking down in some cases.
Be aware, though, that resilience looks different for different people, for example. For someone, resilience looks like getting through three days worth of work in 3 hours, and for others, it's getting up in the morning and smiling.
Also, just because you've got high resilience, for one thing, doesn't mean it'll last for another. Because the critical thing is that, for the most part, it's mental, and if your mental health is on the blink, it'll affect things drastically.
- Better academic performance
- Fewer absences from work
- Less likely to use harmful substances as a coping mechanism
- More involved with your community and family
- How to become more resilient
The first thing to be aware of is where your mental health is at. If it's in good shape, then maybe some minor lifestyle changes are needed. Your mental health is a bit dodgy work on rooting that out with decent coping mechanisms and using the small lifestyle changes as a slight boost.
Sometimes when you have a small amount of resilience, you struggle to assert yourself. However, this isn’t always the case! Try to set some boundaries. When people make unreasonable demands, stand up for yourself. When people ignore you, shout. It’ll build up your confidence and make you feel more in control and solve situations.
Change parts of your lifestyle.
If your diet isn’t the best, then try to improve it. If your sleeping pattern is terrible, make it better. It’ll help get you more physically healthy and help decrease some symptoms of bad mental health.
On top of that, try going out into the community a bit more, joining classes to improve a hobby, and meeting up with others. Improving our lifestyles and social circles can help decrease the impact of bad mental health symptoms. On top of that, it can give us a good support network when things get tough and provide us with suitable coping mechanisms to improve resilience.
Be kinder to yourself.
As we get older more expectations and stresses are put on our shoulders, we rarely take the time to be nice to ourselves. We get bogged down with what we do wrong and focus on times we did something wrong. Like when an annoying thing we did three years ago pops into our brain.
Find time to be positive. Think pleasant thoughts, reward yourself when you do something right and do something wrong, be constructive in your criticism.
On top of that, if you are arguing with a friend or a family member, if it isn’t something utterly unforgivable, then try to forgive them and move on. Or just skip the forgiving their step and move on.
Let go of things
Being kinder to yourself will stop you from feeling guilty about stuff you don’t need to and will stop you from being weighed down. It prevents stress from impacting your mental health. And coming to terms with these things will enable you to realise no one is perfect, and it’ll help you become emotionally calmer and stronger and is another way to improve your resilience.
Ultimately resilience is a bit of a tricky thing to pin down and improve, and a lot of it is to do with wellbeing and improving other things. However, having a good amount of it or improving it will enhance life more and help you when life gives you lemons.
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