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What is Resilience, and why Is It Important to Bounce Back and Continue?

What makes one person accept the tough times while another person is a wreck due to challenging times?

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Research has revealed that various factors influence our resilience, such as our personality, environmental factors, and ability learned through experience.

The capability to bounce back from difficulties that life can throw at us is certainly an essential component that defines resilience, and this concept could occur in other adaptive ways that test our comprehension of the notion.

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What is Resilience?

Resilience refers to the ability to cope with and overcome setbacks and challenges. People who remain calm in the face of setbacks are resilient.

If you are resilient, you harness your inner strength to help you bounce back from any setback or obstacle that you face, like losing your job, accident, illness, or the death of a loved one. If you aren’t resilient, it is possible to dwell on problems, feel victimized and overwhelmed, or resort to unhealthy ways of coping, like addiction or eating disorders; you may also engage in reckless behaviors.

The ability to be resilient won’t make your issues disappear, but resilience can help you gain the ability to look past the issues, enjoy life, and manage stress better. If you’re not as resilient as you would like, you can build and develop strategies to improve your resilience.

Resilience in the context of human life is defined as the “capacity to be flexible in our thinking actions, feelings, and behaviors in the face of disruptions to our lives or prolonged periods of stress, in order that we emerge from adversity more shrewd, smarter and more competent” (Pemberton 2015).

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Synonyms for Resilience

The ability to manage, bounce back, and recover from adversity.

  • Hardiness
  • Toughness
  • Character
  • Courage
  • Determination
  • Fortitude
  • goal
  • Strength
  • Tenacity
  • Grit
  • Perseverance
  • Persistence
  • Stoicism
  • Backbone
  • Doggedness
  • Durability
  • Indomitability
  • Resistance
  • spine
  • Spiritedness
  • Stamina
  • Staunchness
  • Steadiness
  • Endurance
  • Ruggedness
  • Vitality
  • Strong-mindedness
  • Firmness
  • Robustness
  • Willpower
  • Constancy
  • Tirelessness
  • Tolerance
  • Starch
  • Vigor
  • Forbearance
  • Steadiness
  • Dedication
  • Drive
  • Valor

Being Resilient: Meaning in Psychology

The resilient person often does more than just bounce back after a significant event like the passing of a family member or an unexpectedly poor medical diagnosis.

Psychology recognizes that resilient people going through significant life events may not be able to recover quickly, but most importantly, these difficult times generally lead to growth.

A renewed sense of purpose can help to strengthen the determination of people who are already resilient. “Studies have proven that having a clearly defined and meaningful purpose and being fully committed to a goal will significantly increase one’s resilience” (Southwick and Charney, 2018).

Signs of Resilience

Resilient people typically have many different qualities that allow them to face the challenges of life. The signs of resilience are:

A survivor mentality

When people are resilient, they see themselves as survivors. They realize that even in difficult times, they can persevere until they can get through.

Effective emotional regulation

Resilience is measured by an ability to control emotions during stress. It doesn’t mean resilient people don’t have extreme emotions, such as sadness, anger, or even anxiety. It’s a sign that they realize the emotions are only temporary and find ways to ease them.

Feeling in control

People who are resilient have an internal locus of control and believe that their actions are a factor in the outcomes of the events.

Problem-solving skills

When issues occur, resilient people take a look at the issue rationally and attempt to find solutions that can change the situation.

Self-compassion

Another indicator of resilience is confidence in yourself and self-compassion. Resilient individuals treat themselves with compassion, particularly when times are difficult.

Social support

Being surrounded by a strong group of friends and family members is another indicator of strength. Resilient people understand the importance of being supported and know when they have to ask for assistance.

Types of Resilience

Resilience is the ability to deal with life’s challenges and is a broad representation of a person’s adaptability. There are diverse types of resilience, each of which influences an individual’s capacity to cope with different types of stress.

Physical Resilience

Physical resilience refers to how the body copes with changes and recovers from strains, injuries, and illnesses. Studies suggest that this kind of resilience plays a significant role in maintaining health; it influences the way that people age as much as how they deal with medical and physical stressors.

Physical endurance is a factor people can build up to some extent by adopting healthy lifestyle choices. A good night’s sleep, eating a healthy diet, and participating regularly in exercise are only some ways to increase this kind of resilience.

Mental Resilience

Mental resilience is the ability of a person to adjust to changes and uncertainty. People who have this type of resilience are able to adapt and remain at peace during times of crisis, and they use their mental power to tackle problems as they progress and remain hopeful when faced with challenges.

Emotional Resilience

Resilience in the emotional realm is being able to control emotions during periods of stress. People who are resilient have a keen awareness of emotions and are aware of their own inner life. This is why they can control their thoughts and calm their emotions when facing negative situations.

This kind of resilience aids people in maintaining optimism even in times of hardship; since they’re emotionally resilient, they know that challenges and painful emotions will not last forever.

Social Resilience

Social resilience, also known as community resilience, is the capacity of groups to bounce back from challenging situations. 

The social resilience aspect includes:

  • Being able to come together following catastrophes.
  • Assisting each other in social situations.
  • Being aware of the dangers that a community is exposed to.
  • Developing a sense of belonging.

These kinds of responses are crucial when faced with challenges like natural disasters that impact communities or large numbers of people.

Causes of Resilience

Certain people have innately resilient characteristics that allow them to remain unshakeable when faced with challenges, but these traits are not only inborn traits that are found in only a few. Resilience is a product of a myriad of external and internal characteristics that include physical fitness, genetics, mental health, and environment.

Social support is a crucial aspect that helps build resilience; mentally strong individuals are likely to have the support of their family and friends to back them when they are in a crisis.

Resilient people also tend to exhibit characteristics like:

  • Being a great communicator
  • Having an internal locus of control
  • Having a high emotional intelligence and a way to manage emotions efficiently
  • Positively judging themselves and their talents.
  • Capable of making real-world plans and sticking to the plans
  • Seeming to be fighters rather than being victims of circumstance

Impact of Resilience

Resilience can give people the mental ability to handle extreme stress and trials. The mental strength reservoir is something people can rely on in times of need to get through the day without crashing. Psychologists believe that people who are resilient are more able to face any challenge and rebuild lives following an experience.

The process of dealing with loss or change is a natural element of our lives. Everybody is faced with a range of challenges, and a few of these problems could be pretty small (not being accepted into a class or getting refused an increase at work), but others can be catastrophic on a larger magnitude.

The people who aren’t resilient could be overwhelmed by these experiences; they might dwell on their issues and employ inadequate coping strategies to manage the issues.

Failure or disappointment could lead individuals to harmful, destructive, or dangerous behavior, and they become less likely to recover from setbacks and might experience more emotional stress due to it.

How we deal with these issues can be a major factor in not just the immediate results but also the psychological effects.

Resilience doesn’t eliminate the stress of life or eliminate its challenges. People with this trait do not see the world through rose-colored glasses; they realize that failures will occur and that life can be difficult and challenging; however, their outlook on life helps them work through their emotions, improve, Do Better, Be Better, and heal.

Resilience provides people with the ability to confront problems with determination to overcome obstacles and continue to live their lives. In the aftermath of massive events like natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and the COVID-19 epidemic, many people who displayed the characteristics of resilience showed fewer signs of depression.

Even when faced with circumstances that appear to be impossible, people can harness the power to not only endure but also prosper.

What are the 7 Cs of Resilience?

Ken Ginsburg, MD is an MD, a pediatric physician specializing in adolescent medical care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and co-founder of the Center for Parent and Teen Communication and the model of 7 Cs for resilience to help children and teens acquire the abilities to be more happy and resilient.

The model of the 7 Cs is based on two main aspects:

  • Young people live up or down to the expectations set for them and need adults who love them unconditionally and hold them to high expectations.
  • How we show resilience to youngsters is more important than what we say about it.

The American Academy of Pediatrics summarizes the seven Cs in the following manner:

Competence

This means that you can manage situations with ease. To develop competence, people build a set of competencies that allow them to be confident in their judgments and make wise decisions.

Confidence

Dr. Ginsburg says that true confidence in yourself is rooted in competence. Confidence is gained by showing the ability to perform in real-life situations.

Connection

Family ties or friends can provide a sense of belonging and security.

Character

Individuals require a deep understanding of right or wrong to make ethical decisions, contribute to society, and have self-esteem.

Contribution

Ginsburg states that having a sense of purpose is an effective motivational factor. Giving back to the community builds positive relationships.

Coping

If people can deal with stress well and effectively, they’re better prepared to deal with setbacks and challenges.

Control

Learning to understand internal control can help individuals function as problem-solvers, not the victims of circumstances. If people learn that they are in control of the outcomes of their decisions, they will view themselves as confident and competent.

The seven Cs of resilience show the interaction between the strengths of the individual and external resources, regardless of age.

How to Build and Become More Resilient

Positive psychology provides proven strategies to improve people’s mental health and resiliency.

Resilience is a quality that we can build within ourselves; parents can also assist their children in developing congruence and resilience. Specific steps to take which can increase resilience:

Reframe negative thoughts

People who are resilient can face negative situations realistically but in a manner that does not focus on blame or dwelling on what can’t be altered. Instead of viewing challenges as unsolvable, change your perspective to consider ways to address the issue and make adjustments that can assist and improve the situation.

Concentrating on the things that are positive that you can do is an excellent method to break free from an unmotivated to motivated mindset.

This strategy can also be utilized to teach children how to deal with difficulties. Inspire them to view the challenges in more positive and optimistic ways. So, instead of getting caught in a rut of negative feelings, children will begin to see these situations as an opportunity to test their own abilities and learn new ones.

Connect with others

Make strong, positive connections with family and friends who can offer you help, support, and guidance both in bad and good times. Create other important connections by serving your time or joining a faith-based or spiritual group.

Seek Support

The act of talking about your struggles doesn’t help them disappear, but sharing the experience with a dependable friend or loved one can let them feel that they are to turn to in times of need and support, and this can help build a sense of resilience. Discussion with others can help people get a better understanding of the issues they face or think of new strategies to tackle the challenges.

In order to help children build a network of support, adults should model positive social skills such as sharing their feelings, being compassionate, cooperating with others, helping them, and showing gratitude. Remember to always encourage a child’s positive behavior.

Make every day meaningful. 

Find something that gives you satisfaction and purpose each day. Make clear, attainable goals to help you see the future with a sense of purpose.

Learn from your mistakes.

Consider how you’ve dealt with hardships through the years. Take note of the techniques and strategies that helped you navigate difficult moments. You could even record your previous experiences in a diary to recognize positive and negative behaviors and help you plan your behavior in the future.

Focus on What’s within Control

In the face of an issue or crisis, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by circumstances that seem out of our reach. Instead of hoping there was an option to turn back the past or alter things, it can be beneficial to focus on the things we can do to directly affect the situation at hand. Adults can help youngsters learn this ability by discussing their circumstances and helping them develop plans for what they will do.

Even if you think the situation is daunting, taking sensible actions will help to improve the situation; however small these actions may seem, they will improve your control over the situation and increase your determination with time.

Remain hopeful

It is impossible to change the past, but you can change the now and the future. Accepting and anticipating change allows you to be more flexible and face new challenges without fear.

Take care of yourself.

Listen to your preferences and desires, and engage in hobbies and activities that you love. Include physical exercise in your routine, make sure you get enough sleep, and set up regular bedtime rituals, eat a healthy diet. Relaxation and stress management methods, like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, guided imagery, and, very importantly, praying and building your faith.

Be proactive

Don’t let your issues go unnoticed; instead, determine what you need to do, create a plan, and then take action. Even though it takes time to recover from a significant loss or setback, remember that things can get better by focusing and actively making the moves.

Bible Verses About Resilience To Keep You Going

Being resilient is the ability to stand up to the challenges that may come our way. It’s about being able to bounce back stronger when you’ve fallen and continue to move forward on the same journey, but how can we be resilient? Simply focus your attention on God. He is our main focus, source of motivation, and hope through these difficult times and good and great times too. Bible verses on resilience can teach us how to remain resilient and steadfast in our Lord. These Bible verses show us how to build spiritual and emotional resilience:

Take it as pure joy my sisters and brothers in the face of various kinds of trials because you are aware that testing your faith can lead to determination. Allow perseverance to finish its work to make you fully mature and complete, never lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

They have been revealed so that the proof of your faith-worth more than gold that is lost despite being refined with fire, could bring glory, praise and honour at the time that Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter 1:17b

The person who is steadfast until at the very end is saved.

Matthew 24:13

Do not get exhausted in our efforts to do good and be patient, because at the appropriate moment, we will reap the fruits of our labor when we don’t abandon our efforts.

Galatians 6:9

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;

2 Corinthians 4:8

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18

Do not follow the world’s pattern and change through the regenerating of your minds. You will then be able to examine and confirm God’s will is his perfect pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

To those who with determination to do good desire glory, honor, immortality, and glory, God will grant them the gift of eternal life.

Romans 2:7

Be mindful of the pathways you’ll take and remain steadfast in all of your steps.

Proverbs 4:16

And for you, your brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing the right thing.

2. Thessalonians 3:13

If we continue to endure the Lord, we will also rule with him. If we refuse to accept him, he’ll also deprive us of his blessings.

2 Timothy 2:12

Do you realize the fact that during a race, all participants run; however, only one receives the prize? You must run in a manner so that the winner is chosen.

1 Corinthians 9:24

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

Luke 8:15 The seed that is planted on a good soil is a symbol of those who have a good and noble heart, who have heard the word, keep it, and then by enduring grow an crop.

Luke 8:15

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Best Resilience Quotes

The most inspiring quotes about resilience are a reflection of something that is deep in our human soul. They are enduring because they touch us in the parts where we are struggling, the parts that we are striving to figure out: “Maybe I’m not good enough to do the task at hand” type of situation; the part of us that believes our future isn’t dependent on our luck, but instead by our own efforts. The best quotes about resilience have been handed down over the years, and as with any good quote or story, they compress and express the essence of our lives.

Some of the top minds have extracted some of the most profound wisdom of mankind and have shared it with us to get us inspired and encourage others:

  • “Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” – Steve Maraboli.
  • “Hold yourself accountable for an even higher standard than anyone else. Never excuse yourself. Don’t be a victim. Make yourself a tough master for yourself, and be lenient to everyone else.” – Henry Ward Beecher. 
  • “If you’re heartbroken, create art using the broken pieces.” – Shane Koyczan.
  • “No matter how much falls on us, we keep plowing ahead. That’s the only way to keep the roads clear.” – Greg Kincaid. 
  • “Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult challenges.” – Gever Tulley.
  • “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” – Margaret Thatcher.
  • “Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela. 
  • “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” – Maya Angelou.
  • “Rock bottom became the solid foundation in which I rebuilt my life.” – J.K. Rowling.

Conclusion

Resilience refers to the capacity to be adaptable and flexible when faced with challenges in life; it’s a broad concept that involves different aspects, environmental influences, and a capacity that is based on experience.

In the field of psychological research, the term “resilience” may be described as the ability to bounce back from resistance, restructure, or withstand adversity or stress. It is an essential resource that protects people from the negative consequences of stress and assists them in regaining control over their lives; it leads to change and growth.

Resilience can be cultivated and maintained by a variety of methods, such as seeking help by setting goals, taking lessons from past experiences, identifying and utilizing strengths, establishing strategies to cope, and maintaining optimism.

Resiliency – Motivational Video
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