Lately, there has been a lot of talk about resilience. The term has become quite popular to talk about personal and professional life, being indicated as an essential characteristic for dealing well with events.
In this article you will find:
- What is the concept of human resilience?
- What is it to be a resilient person?
- 10 tips for working and building resilience
What is the concept of human resilience?
In psychology, resilience can be defined as a person’s ability to adapt to changes and deal with adverse situations, such as trauma, losses, financial difficulties, among others.
The term comes from physics, which says that resilience is the ability of an object to return to its original shape after going through stressors and being deformed.
Psychology has borrowed the term because it very well defines this ability that human beings have to deal with a great deal of stress and move on.
However, the term of physics talks about going back to the original form, which does not occur in human beings. Whenever we go through adversity, we learn something and grow from it.
The individual does not return to its original form, like a metal bar, for example. But he certainly leaves the situation even stronger and with a greater capacity to move on with his life.
Remember that resilience does not mean the absence of negative emotions in the face of adversity, but the ability to recover from these emotions and be able to deal with problems even with these emotions.
So it’s not about not getting frustrated or being optimistic all the time. But to be able to move forward despite the frustrations, despite not having such an optimistic view, despite all the opposing forces.
What is it to be a resilient person?
A resilient person is a flexible person. This means that they are able to adapt to adverse situations, seeking to solve their problems in new ways, without insisting on the old ways of dealing with situations.
Like a resilient metal, a person must be able to bend to resist pressure. In other words, able to leave the comfort zone to solve their problems, and then return to their routine strengthened and with new learning.
However, it is important to remember that resilience is not an innate trait, but rather a lifelong ability. Therefore, people with low tolerance for frustration, who end up giving up on their goals, can indeed become resilient if they so wish!
10 tips for working and building resilience
Resilience is a skill that can be developed. And there’s no big secret about it, so everyone can adopt strategies to improve their coping skills.
See below 10 tips for working and building resilience:
1. Be flexible
Didn’t things turn out as you expected? Insisting on the same mistakes may not only not solve the problem, it can also worsen resilience.
You have to be a little more flexible, try to see things from another angle, try to understand the situation better and look for new solutions.
Feeling frustrated by plans going wrong is not a problem, as long as that frustration doesn’t stop you from moving forward. Sadness is part of it, but it shouldn’t be crippling.
2. Work on emotion regulation
As said, it is not a problem to have negative feelings in the face of adverse situations. However, letting these feelings get in the way of how you handle such situations is what is really problematic.
To avoid this, it is necessary to work on emotion regulation. This means understanding your emotions, allowing yourself to feel the sadness and frustration, expressing them appropriately, and moving on.
Many people, for example, do not allow themselves to cry when they are sad, and believe that this is synonymous with good emotional control. It is not. In fact, people with good emotion regulation allow themselves to cry at adequate times and in adequate amounts.
Most people who don’t allow themselves to cry, when faced with a situation that makes them shed tears, just can’t hold back—they end up crying very hard, and for long periods of time.
On the other hand, people who have good emotional regulation are able to cry with a moderate intensity, as well as better control crying when it is not an adequate expression.
3. Learn the lessons
Even in the worst situations, there are always lessons to be learned, even if it’s just not repeating the same acts again.
Allowing yourself to learn from adverse situations is one of the key points of resilience, because in the future, when faced with something similar, the person will be better prepared to deal with the problem.
4. Avoid the victim role
Bad things happen to everyone in the world. Asking yourself “why me?” not very productive in dealing with the problem. It is necessary to try to understand your active role in the situation, rather than putting yourself as a passive victim.
That’s because when you put yourself in an active role, you also open up a range of possibilities for action to deal with the problem. It’s like taking charge of your own life and not letting misfortunes guide your way.
5. Maintain a support network
A support network made up of friends and family is very helpful in having high resilience. People who can rely on their close friends and family are often far more resilient than people who feel lonely or have no one to rely on.
6. Learn to accept help
Sometimes we think we are stronger than we really are. Resilience is not the same as taking it all on your own — on the contrary, being able to count on other people’s help is extremely important to develop good resilience.
If you are the type of person who has difficulty accepting the help people offer you, a tip is to try to accept that help more. This does not mean weakness or incapacity, but just sharing the weight of adverse situations with other people.
7. Have moments of self-care
Self-care is extremely important for developing good resilience. And this is not just taking care of your health, but also taking time for leisure.
So, in addition to eating properly and exercising, it is important to take advantage of your free time in activities you like to do, hobbies, among others.
Activities such as meditation, yoga, among others, can also fit into self-care activities. But the most important thing is to be able to distract yourself and relieve tension.
8. Invest in self-knowledge
Self-knowledge is not only good for knowing your own strengths, but also for understanding your own shortcomings. This way, it is possible to know what kind of situation causes the most stress, in order to establish some personal limits and avoid unnecessary stress.
This is a huge ally in terms of resilience. It is knowing yourself that you can learn from situations, as well as know what resources you have at hand to face adverse situations.
In addition, investing in self-knowledge helps you understand your purpose, why you keep doing the things you do—and knowing your purpose is also a key element in frustration tolerance and resilience.
9. Have realistic plans
It is not possible to be resilient when dealing with far-fetched and utopian plans. That’s because, in these planes, frustration occurs all the time, and no one can stay mentally healthy for so long in this scenario.
Making realistic plans that are in line with the opportunities that arise, as well as the resources you have, is critical to avoiding unnecessary frustration and being able to stay on track.
Psychotherapy is a type of therapy that promotes not only self-knowledge, but also techniques and learning that can help a person a lot in dealing with adversity.
It is worth remembering that therapy is beneficial for anyone, not just people with mental disorders.
This is because it promotes much more than just the treatment of symptoms of disorders, such as problem solving techniques, relaxation techniques, changes in problematic behaviors, among others.
Therapy can be a great ally when it comes to developing resilience, regardless of whether you have a diagnosis or not!
Developing resilience is a way of dealing with life (personal, professional, emotional) in a more balanced and healthy way. And for that, there is no big secret.