Building Resilience

Overview

Resilience is an inner strength that helps you bounce back after stressful situations. When you are resilient, you may recover more quickly from setbacks or difficult changes, including illness.

People who are resilient often work to have a positive outlook on life. Having a positive outlook on life may help you handle pain or stress better than someone who is less hopeful. You may still feel angry, sad, or worried during tough times. But you won't feel so overwhelmed. You'll be less likely to give up and more likely to cope with stressful situations in healthy ways.

Building resilience may take gradual, small changes in your outlook on life and careful self-evaluation. You may be able to begin this shift on your own. A counselor or therapist can also help you.

How to build resilience

Here are some tips for building resilience.

  • Accept that things change.
    • View change as a challenge rather than a threat.
    • Examine how and why you feel the way you do when things change.
    • Expect things to work out. You can't change what happens, but you can change how you feel about it.
  • See the big picture.

    Difficult experiences can teach you about yourself.

    • Look for things to learn. Look to the future, and ask yourself how the stressful event might help you.
    • Look for the positive in stressful experiences. Try to see the humor in tough situations.
  • Seek out people who make you feel better.

    Develop a strong support network. Build relationships that are solid and loving with your family and friends. Help them, and let them help you.

  • Believe in yourself.
    • Do things to gain self-confidence and build self-esteem. For example, list the things you've achieved in your life or that make you proud.
    • Look at all aspects of a problem, and brainstorm solutions. Ask friends for suggestions.
  • Take good care of yourself.
    • Do things that you enjoy. See a movie. Have a good meal. Laugh with your friends. Know what's important to you.
    • Relax your mind and body through techniques such as deep breathing and guided imagery.
    • Talk about how you are feeling, and manage your emotions.
    • Be thankful for the good you see around you.

Credits

Current as of: February 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health

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