What is Resilience? Resilience can be described as an adaptation to extraordinary circumstances (i.e. risks) by achieving positive and unexpected outcomes in the face of adversity. Or in everyday language, Resilience can also be defined as having the ability to bounce back or to roll with the punches and cope with life events, both negative and positive.
Resilience can be activated by external life contexts, circumstances, and opportunities. The process of activating resilience, can be viewed as beginning when someone perceives a challenge or a threat that motivates him or her to set and carry out new goals. Thus resilience is an emergent quality that is set in motion when a person is under stress.
Why be Resilient ? A successful adaptation to life events, provides an opportunity for emotional and psychological balance, resulting in a sense of well-being. We need to be able to go through life and encounter good and unpleasant situations and have the ability to deal with them. An example of a Resilient reaction to a negative situation may be smiling and putting it in context and making a cute remark about it.
When your resilience is low one may tend to take things seriously and express a larger reaction then normal. Others around may observe and recognise that the stress is getting to you and even affect the way they interact with you going forward. It is clearly better to maintain ones resilience then let it deplete and eventually it could lead to increased stress, anxiety and depression. It also becomes harder to stay the happy person everyone in your family and social circle are used to dealing with. It has the potential to upset the balance in these relationships. Be it your partner family members or friends.
How do you remain resilient? The Centre for Human Potential believes resilience can be assisted with a focus on recognising the symptoms’ in your body, heart and mind. Once you are aware that this is happening to you the next step is to do something about it. We approach this by having each person build their own plan on staying or improving their resilience.
Regarding the heart a very basic example would be feeling emotionally stressed and just needing some support, a body example could be gaining weight and making a commitment to walk or do some exercise. One aspect that seems to take longer for many to people to master is taking control of their life and staying in that position. Things like improving your communication skills, and time management are just a couple of things you can review and decide if they need work. These are very simple examples but when you put them all together and plan to start improving these things you can feel good that you have a plan in place. Once you start achieving some results and some momentum kicks in, it allows you to feel more resilient then when you started. Contact us now for help!
Lisa Kunde has ten years experience working as a psychologist with adults in both private and public hospital settings (oncology, palliative care, chronic pain, cardio-pulmonary, psychiatric and alcohol and other drugs units).