Resilience

Resilience

Resilience helps you adapt to change and recover quickly when things don't go well. How can we become more resilient?

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises.

Preparation

Raul never seems to let difficulties in life worry him. When someone disagrees with him, he sees it as a chance to understand things from a different point of view. When he had too much work, he learnt to improve his time management skills. When he lost his job, he took an online course so he could apply for better jobs. To Raul's friends, he's the best example of resilience.

What is resilience? One definition of resilience is the ability to be happy or successful again after difficulties. But resilience isn't just that. It is also the ability to adapt to challenging situations without feeling like it's all too much for you. It means using difficult situations to grow and improve. 

Some people might say Raul's just lucky. They might think he never gets stressed and that things just don't bother him. But they're wrong. Resilient people do feel stress, emotional pain, disappointment and other negative emotions. But it's what they do with those feelings that helps make them resilient. Resilience involves thoughts, behaviour and actions that we all can develop and strengthen. People are not born resilient – they learn resilience.

So what can we do to build resilience? Here are three tips.

1. Be aware of your reactions

When we think something is difficult or threatening, negative feelings and thoughts can lead to negative actions. By being aware of our feelings, we can learn to accept them and to deal with them better. Mindfulness activities like meditation can increase our awareness of our emotional state and help us calm negative thoughts.

Our brains often try to make sense of negative events by creating a story around the situation. For example, if Stella openly disagrees with us in a meeting, we might tell ourselves that she doesn't like us and was looking for the opportunity to make us feel uncomfortable in front of the boss. We tell ourselves this story until it feels real, even though it's likely that the reality is quite different. 

Being aware that everybody has a tendency to create stories around events is the first step to managing our reactions. When we realise that our version of events is just one interpretation of things, the situation becomes less painful and we are more open to seeing things from different perspectives.

2. Use writing techniques to gain different perspectives

It is not easy to recognise and change the stories we tell ourselves but there are techniques that can help us. Greater Good Magazine from Berkeley, the University of California, suggests expressive writing – writing freely about an issue for 20 minutes, putting your deepest thoughts and feelings on paper. As we write, the process forces us to face our thoughts honestly and helps us find new understanding.

Writing can also help us think more positively about difficult experiences. Once we have explored the negative side of something, another technique involves making a list of the positive aspects of the situation. For example, maybe Stella's comments in the meeting forced you to make your original idea much better. Or what she said might have helped you understand her point of view. A study found that people who did this 'list the positives' activity every day for three weeks felt more positive, particularly the negative thinkers, who reported feeling less depressed.

3. Be kind to yourself

It is important that we don't judge ourselves for the negative feelings and thoughts that we have, and that we forgive ourselves for the mistakes we make. Talking to other kind and sympathetic individuals can help support us when we are experiencing difficulty. Sharing experiences with other people can help us become more aware of our feelings and offer us different perspectives. Whether these are our colleagues, our friends or people in other social groups we belong to, forming strong relationships helps us feel less alone.

Being kind to yourself is also about looking after your physical health. Making sure you get enough sleep, plenty of exercise and healthy food can help reduce the stress you're feeling.

The stress, worry and emotional pain that life brings can be challenging. But if we work on building our resilience and getting the support we need to do so, we can gradually learn to deal with these difficult circumstances and, in the process, become stronger.

Discussion

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Submitted by Erick C on Sat, 06/03/2021 - 21:21

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It is a great article. Sometimes we get angry easily against a hard situation and we do not know how to chill out. We must be aware that losing control we can't achieve nothing, we should learn how to lead with those situations and I think this article is very helpfull to get it.

Submitted by Rodolfo R on Sat, 06/03/2021 - 21:21

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Definetly resilience is one of the most important soft skills a person must have in order to have succes in life. Everyday we face problems, some of them harder than others, but still being so important to learn how to deal with them, how to learn from them, and if we fail, to see how could we use this situation in order to keep growing.
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Submitted by Pamela P on Sat, 06/03/2021 - 20:56

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I love the tips because think is very importan to be resilence to be well with oneself and don't feel bad sometimes. Personally the exercise always help me to reduce the stress that school make me feel, I never concidered meditate but now I going to try because sometimes I don't know how I feel and also I think it could be fun.

Submitted by Karely D on Sat, 06/03/2021 - 20:38

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I found this reading very interesting because it teaches us a reality in our way of living and seeing life, I learned how to improve my mood and to move forward despite the circumstances.

Submitted by Jonathan_R on Sat, 06/03/2021 - 19:55

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It's a good article and I learned new things about people's resilience, I feel like a part of me is like that.

Submitted by David O on Sat, 06/03/2021 - 19:37

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I think it is very important to read this article because in our lives we often have problems and difficult experiences. I liked the article because now we have techniques to learn resilience.

Submitted by Victoria G on Sat, 06/03/2021 - 19:27

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It is a good article because it gives us very good tips on how to be more resilient, since people are not born being resilient, but rather that we can develop it due to the difficulties that arise and how to face them. I find it very interesting to write our negative and positive thoughts and that at some point it can help us to see things differently.

Submitted by Eliasib E on Sat, 06/03/2021 - 17:53

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I feel identified with the resilience because I try to think and do things that way. I liked the reading it's motivating.

Submitted by Victoria G on Sat, 06/03/2021 - 16:51

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It is good article because it gives us very good tips on how to be more resilient, since people are not born being resilient, but rather that we can develop it due to the difficulties that arise and way to face them. I find it very interesting to write our negative and positive thoughts and that at some point it can help us to see things differently.

Submitted by Hector D on Sat, 06/03/2021 - 08:20

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A great article, which leaves a very good reflection.