What is Resilience?
Resilience can be likened to a reed that bends in the wind; it yields to the force of the wind, it does not break and is able to return to its original position.
Some people seem to deal with life’s problems easily while others seem unable to recover quickly and can decline into a state of helplessness and even depression. How well we manage the minor and major stresses of life will depend on many factors, such as our personality, life experience, the situation and support we receive.
Qualities Within Ourselves
Yet each of us have qualities within ourselves that we can develop and draw on at times of adversity, such as; courage, creativity, determination, hope, humour, and purpose. It is a matter of recognising them within ourselves. This can best be practised when we have some quiet time to ourselves to make that deeper connection, so that when a difficult situation confronts us we are prepared.
Reflecting on a situation helps to build future resilience. Even if something does not turn out particularly well there are things you can learn, and do differently next time. And we can learn from people who we consider are resilient by asking ourselves,’ What skills and attributes do they have that I can develop?’
Ask for Help
To be resilient we need to learn to ask for support. If it is concerns about our health turn to trusted professionals and carers. Love from family and friends is a huge boost when facing any difficulty. In extreme situations where we feel threatened and are fearful, we may need help from government agencies such as social services and the legal system.
Finally, in challenging situations comfort and strength can be found in making a connection though prayer or in silence with something greater than ourselves, whether it is God, Allah, Nature or a Universal Power.
Dr Craig Brown