According to research, 62% of African and Black Americans say they are resilient, while 46% of Asian Americans state the same. The less resilient individuals have a passive attitude and often have an easily give-in mindset. They overanalyze things and shy away from help.
Trauma, stress can cause individuals to become brittle and less resilient over time. This makes it harder to bounce back from the everyday stresses of life. What can you do to stay strong and resilient even in the most trying times?
Through this guide to what is resilience in psychology, I will share with you specific habits of highly resilient people. You’re going to learn how you can build and improvise your resilience.
Once you have an idea of what is resilience in psychology, you will know how to achieve greater strength, courage, confidence, and optimism even in unfavorable times. These techniques will give you the boost you need to face even the most difficult situations with ease.
What is the meaning of resilience in psychology?
Resilience is the capacity to recover from difficulty, adversity, injury quickly, or other adverse effects of living in a stressful environment. Most of us have limits to how resilient we can be. We can only be resilient for so long before we start to suffer the ill effects of prolonged stress.
Resilience isn’t only about surviving adversity; it’s also about learning from it, growing from it, and being positively impacted by it. Psychology defines resilience as a process that results from successful adaptation to adversity.
The American Psychological Association (2014) describes resilience as:
“The act of successfully adjusting to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant amounts of stress.”
Traits of resilient people
The belief was resilience was a fixed quality or capacity.
But the positive news is research has shown that we can build resilience over time. We can accumulate strength over time.
Some common traits of resilient people are:
- Self-awareness – It is necessary because it allows them to perceive themselves wholly and objectively.
- Resilient people are realistic – It has a significant impact on their ability to be resilient if they can see the world and the situations in a sensible way.
- Maintain calm – It allows them to face any challenge and make informed judgments about dealing with it.
- Accountable – Being accountable for themselves and how to deal with problems is a crucial component of resilience.
- Optimistic – When faced with a challenge, they will ask, “How can I overcome the situation?” rather than blaming themselves or circumstances.
Some other common characteristics or traits of resilient people are healthy eating, sleeping well, daily exercising, following a routine, having a purpose or meaning in life, and having strong social or community support.
How to improve resilience
Now that you are aware of what is resilience in psychology, let’s dig into some of the strategies that you can follow to improve mental strength:
Goal Setting – The willingness to set targets, create meaningful steps to reach those goals, and execute, all contribute to developing willpower and mental toughness.
Those goals which involve learning new skills will reap more benefits. For example, learning a new skill set, doing an advanced course, learning something new and creative such as music.
Goals can be big or tiny, and they can be about your physical health, emotional well-being, profession, finances, spirituality, or anything else.
Regulated Exposure – Regulated or Controlled exposure is a technique for helping people overcome their concerns by slowly exposing them to anxiety-provoking events. The individual can initiate himself or do it through a therapist.
Learning New Skills – Learning new skills can help build resilience by helping to establish a sense of expertise and proficiency, both of which can be useful during difficult circumstances and boost one’s self-esteem and problem-solving abilities.
Connect With People – Our connections to family, friends, and community can help us be more resilient. Loving relationships with individuals who care about you and listen to your difficulties can help us rediscover hope during challenging times.
Similarly, serving others in their moment of need can be beneficial to us and strengthen our sense of resilience.
Avoid seeing problems as major obstacles – Do not regard crises as significant obstacles. We do not have much authority over the external events around us, but we do have power over how we respond to them.
And while facing challenges, we need to be aware that things will change sooner or later.
The crisis we are in is not going to be permanent if we take the right steps to come out of it slowly.
Change is inevitable in life – There will always be things you can change and some which you may not be able to.
According to popular belief, changes are the only constant in life. Specific ambitions may no longer be viable or attainable as a result of challenging circumstances. Accepting what you can’t change helps you to concentrate on the things you can.
How to build resilience in midlife?
Here are some methods you can follow if you are wondering how to build resilience in midlife:
Revise Your Story – How you view a catastrophe, or a sad event can help you become more resilient. You can change the narrative, which will change your perspective about the world and yourself.
Take Charge of Your Life – By building a meaningful life that you can participate in, you will acquire the ability to overcome any setback.
Take a Pause – Shifting your perspective on stress can assist in lessening its impact. Walking, exercising, meditating, or going out with dear ones, are all excellent methods to relax both your mind and body.
Remind yourself that you have done it before – When things go rough, remind yourself of the obstacles you have previously overcome. Because it is simpler to relate to yourself than to another person; this is a superior tool for developing resilience.
When you can persuade yourself that you’ve been through worse and come out on top, it makes the current circumstance appear less daunting.
Don’t take things personally – When things go wrong, stop blaming yourself for everything. Even if you have committed a mistake, there were likely other circumstances that contributed to the issue. Next is you should focus on what constructive steps you can take and start working on that.
Is there any connection between resilience and spirituality?
Research has indicated there is a relevant and deep connection between resilience and spirituality.
Resilience is strongly linked to finding meaning. Many people’s contemplations turn into a search for purpose in their lives as they get older. This quest is crucial to one’s quality of life and general well-being.
This desire for meaning in life, impacts one’s spiritual life, spiritual experiences, and manifestations, especially as one grows older and encounters various realities related to life.
As the legendary philosopher, author, Victor Frankl puts it: “Those who have a ‘why’ to live can bear with almost any ‘how.’”
One can face, recuperate, sustain, and progress when they are grounded in their spiritual center.
Faith communities, spiritual and religious experiences, and beliefs about the sacred will contribute to life quality and meaning for many, but yes, certainly not for all.
Spirituality provides a context that guides individuals through tender and blissful events, often facilitating positive discoveries amid negative experiences.
As a result, spirituality is a valuable resource in later life, allowing mid-life and older persons to adjust to changing personal demands.
Spirituality is a territory of human experience capturing a deep awareness of the present. It is the transcendence of the personal self; and a connection with the higher principle, the Universe, or a Supreme Being.
Religion and spirituality, according to studies, offer people a sense of hope, consolation, and resilience in the face of misfortune.
All I would say, you cannot answer everything as a concrete yes or no. Some things we should leave to experience and experiments and try out probably ourselves and then come to conclusions.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to build up mental strength?
If you are wondering, how to get mentally and emotionally strong, some of these steps might help — trying to focus on one thing at a time, working out regularly, devoting some time to care for yourself; simply by doing the things you love to, setting small goals, and sticking to efforts to achieve them and more such little acts. These baby steps will slowly build up your mental strength.
What is the science of resilience, and how it can be learned?
As per scientists, the science of building resilience depends on a couple of crucial elements that cause some people to be more robust than others. A sense of optimism, a life mission, and a rich social network are among them. We are, in fact, more resilient than we know ourselves to be.
While some resilience is inherent, the good news is that you can build up mental strength due to the brain’s ability to develop and evolve and grow from traumatizing life situations or adversities.
How do I stop being so weak?
Stop sounding weak to yourself and others, stop expecting laurels from everyone, and making fun of yourself. Take some charge for your actions, and quit giving excuses to yourself, and most importantly, stop breaking commitments.
All these produce a cumulative positive effect and you gain mental strength gradually.
The above strategies are some of the methods of what is resilience in psychology. I have listed some of the tiny yet powerful and proven techniques you can take if you are unsure and doubtful and want to know “how can I be fearless and brave.”
Be open to uncertainties in life, be grateful for the good things, admit that you have specific fears, and that’s pretty much with everyone, face your fears, regulate your stress levels and ask for professional help if you think you cannot handle a situation alone.
We are humans, not machines, and there is no harm if you need professional consultation or guidance to come out of certain situations. Instead, it demonstrates that you are aware of your problems and are looking for solutions to move ahead in life.
Stay Strong, Stay Happy 🙂