What is resilience?

What is resilience?

Have you ever wondered why some people cope and adapt to significant stressors, whilst others become completely overwhelmed? Well, understanding the concept of resilience may help answer the question.

Simply put, resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity (significant stressors). Examples of significant stressors include, the death of a loved one, unexpected job loss and experiencing a traumatic incident.
As humans we are naturally resilient, however some people are more resilient than others.

Metaphor to illustrate resilience

Raw egg vs Rubber ball

If you threw a raw egg against a hard wall what would happen? It would splatter and cause a huge mess. On the other hand, if you throw a rubber ball against the wall it would bounce back. This metaphor alludes to coping with challenges rather than being overcome by the stressors. People are often stronger after going through a challenge. I am sure we can reflect and identify a time that you have been the rubber ball in your life.  

Ways to enhance your resilience

  • Make meaning of crises/ challenges (ask yourself, how have I grown whilst dealing with the challenge, what lessons can I learn from this situation)
  • Maintain a positive outlook (look for things that could give you hope, in that situation – see the glass as half full rather than half empty)
  • Nurture your personal happiness (practice random acts of kindness, sleep well, exercise, eat healthy, practice mediation)  
  • Draw on the resources that are available to you (draw on your support systems to help you
  • cope)
  • Reflect on previous challenges you have managed to overcome and identify what made you pull through
  • Express emotions openly (find a time and a space whereby you can be vulnerable)

Remember, we all have it in us, choose to be the rubber ball and bounce back from the adversity.

Sources:  https://sites.duke.edu/dukelod/tag/resilience/

Image source: https://sites.duke.edu/dukelod/files/2017/03/Resilience-3.jpg

Blog Author
Tatenda Mawoyo