Resilience is the process and outcome of adapting to challenging life experiences through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). For most individuals, resilience is a learned outcome, and its success depends upon personal behaviors and external factors, such as a support system.
In order to build resilience, you should improve your inner strengths and obtain external resources. Several factors affect a person’s resiliency:
- Outlook on and engagement with the world. Your perception of the world vastly affects how you interact with adverse situations.
- Accessibility of social resources. If you have a strong and readily available support system, you are more likely to overcome obstacles than someone who does not rely on anyone.
- Effectiveness of coping strategies. How you choose to manage your stress directly affects your resiliency. A person with healthy coping strategies is more likely to persevere through difficult circumstances.
In addition to the above factors, self-esteem, communication skills, and emotional regulation contribute to how effectively a person overcomes adversity.
How to become more resilient
Building resilience involves reframing thought patterns and relying on personal strengths. To achieve this, experts recommend:
- Developing self-awareness – understanding why and how you respond to stress.
- Improving self-regulation – having control over how you react to stress.
- Expanding coping skills – creating more tools to overcome anxieties.
- Fortifying personal connections – deepening relationships to bolster your support system.
- Highlighting strengths – focusing on self-awareness to understand where you excel.
Life is full of stressors and adversity, but an individual can choose to build up their resilience in order to combat negative outcomes and boost their mental health.