Learning to Build Resilience

Khushboo Motihar
27 Oct 2022

Difficulties and setbacks in life are inevitable. Some are big, some are small, but they all have the potential to knock you off course. How you respond to these challenges plays a big role in how well you recover and how successful you ultimately become. A study has found evidence people with emotional intelligence and resilience are more likely to have improved well-being and higher life satisfaction. Resilience, the ability to adapt and bounce back in the face of adversity, is clearly a valuable skill to have.

Types of Resilience

Some people are born with a higher natural level of resilience, while others have to work a little harder to develop it. Here are some different types of resilience:

  • Physical Resilience:
  • The ability to recover quickly from strenuous physical activity or injuryMental Resilience: The ability to bounce back from difficult life experiences or traumaEmotional Resilience:
  • The ability to effectively manage emotions, especially during times of stressSpiritual Resilience:
  • The ability to find meaning and purpose in life, even during tough timesSocial Resilience:
  • The ability to build and maintain positive relationships

How to Build Resilience? 10 Tips to Help You Get Started

A recentstudy conducted with college students linked emotional resilience to reduced stress levels and a higher level of life satisfaction. Building resilience is not about being tough or pretending everything is okay when it’s not. It’s about having the ability to face challenges head-on, learning from difficult experiences, and emerging stronger than before. Here are nine tips to help you build resilience:

1. Identify Your Sources of Stress

Building resilience is a bit like building muscle – the more you do it, the stronger you become. The first step to building resilience is to identify your sources of stress. What are the things in your life which tend to trigger negative emotions? Once you know what your triggers are, you can start developing strategies to cope with them.

2. Develop a Support System

It's important to have people in your life who you can rely on for support. These could be friends, family members, or even professional counsellors or therapists. When you have a strong support system, you will know you are not facing your challenges alone.

3. Practice Self-Care

Self-care is another important part of building resilience. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to deal with whatever life throws your way. Make sure to schedule time for things that make you feel good—things like exercise, relaxation, and social interaction.

4. Be Positive

It might sound clichéd, but positive thinking really can make a difference. When you focus on the good things in your life, you are more likely to see challenges as opportunities instead of roadblocks. So next time something negative happens, try to find the silver lining.

5. Set Goals

Setting goals gives you a sense of purpose and helps you stay motivated when things get tough. Make sure your goals are realistic and achievable and break them down into small steps that you can complete one at a time.

6. Be Flexible

Life doesn't always go according to plan, so it's important to be flexible in your thinking. Your ability to adapt will give you a much better chance of bouncing back from setbacks.

7. Learn From Your Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes—it's a part of life. What's important is you learn from your mistakes and use them as an opportunity to grow. When you make a mistake, take some time to reflect on what went wrong and how you can do things differently next time.

8. Take Time To Recover

After experiencing a stressful event, it's important to give yourself time to recover. This doesn't mean dwelling on what happened—instead, focusing on taking care of yourself and doing things which make you feel good. Allow yourself time to heal emotionally and mentally before jumping back into your normal routine.

9. Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may need a little extra help to work through your challenges. If you are feeling overwhelmed or like you are not coping, don't be afraid to seek professional help. A therapist can provide you with the tools and support you need to build resilience and improve your mental health. 

10. Follow the7 Cs Model of Resilience

Dr Kenneth Ginsburg developed a unique 7 C’s model of resilience. Built on developing the seven key characteristics that help children and teens thrive in the face of adversity, this model is also relevant for adults. The 7 C’s are: 1. Competence:

Having the skills and knowledge to meet challenges. Confidence: Trusting in your ability to overcome obstacles3. Connection:

Being part of a supportive, caring community

4. Character: Behaving in ways that reflect your values and beliefs5. Contribution: Feeling like you are making a difference in the world

6. Coping:Having the ability to deal with difficult situations in a healthy way

7. Control:Feeling like you have some control over your life and destiny

No one is immune to difficulties and setbacks—but everybody can all develop resilience. If you are looking to build resilience, these 9 tips are a great place to start: from identifying your sources of stress to practising self-care and setting goals, these tips will help you develop the skills you need to thrive no matter what life throws your way. Resilience is a skill that can be learned and developed over time. The more you practice it, the better you will become at bouncing back from adversity. So don't be afraid to start small and work your way up. Remember, even the most resilient people had to start somewhere.


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