The Importance of Resilience

Resilience is defined as the process of adapting well in the face of trauma or tragedy, threats, or other significant sources of stress (Southwick et al., 2014). 

Mental health issues, including chronic stress, burnout, depression, and anxiety, have risen alarmingly since the onset of Covid-19.

Thankfully, techniques can be learned that will manage, and reverse chronic stress and burnout, as well as mitigate depression and anxiety.

This article presents several characteristics and attitudes that resilient people display. Life’s challenges may be faced a little easier by applying the following ways to build your resilience.

1.  Practice Perseverance

Resilient people don't feel helpless or hopeless when they face challenges. They are more likely to persevere toward their goals even when faced with obstacles.

Perseverance is the persistence of doing something, despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.  Perseverance can also be thought of as dedication, endurance, diligence which are learned characteristics.

2.  Increase Personal Agency

Having personal agency is believing that you are in control of your life circumstances. You take full responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and actions.

You monitor what to allow in from the environment around you, are aware of the emotions of others as well as your own, have healthy boundaries, listen to and honour your deep inner knowledge and deliberate carefully before acting.

3.  Maintain Habits for Good Physical Health

Keeping our body in prime condition provides the energy reserves to handle the stressors we face. Daily exercise, proper hydration, rest breaks, a nutritious diet, and 8 or more hours of sleep every night are necessary to maintain a healthy body.  A healthy body supports a healthy mind, and both are conducive to personal resilience.  

4.  Optimistic Attitude

Optimism is a mental attitude of positivity and hope.  Optimists carry an inner belief that good will prevail. They effortlessly see the positive and expect things to turn out well. Optimism is linked to several benefits including resiliency and persistence in the pursuit of goals.

5.  Meaningful Work 

There is a difference between a “job” and “work.” A job satisfies our financial and physical needs. Work that satisfies our emotional, mental, and spiritual needs provides deep meaning to our lives.  (Tanis Helliwell. Take Your Soul to Work. 1999). Engaging in work that is meaningful to our heart and soul brings joy, creativity, and learning, along with a positive increase in resilience.

Take a few minutes now to check out your personal resiliency score using the scale below:

Brief Resilience Scale (BRS)

Smith, B.W., Dalen, J., Wiggins, K., Tooley, E. Christopher, P.,  and Bernard, J. (2008). The brief resilience scale: assessing the ability to bounce back. International journal of behavioral medicine, 15(3), 194-200.

Please respond to each item by marking one box per row

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly Agree

BRS 1

I tend to bounce back quickly after hard times.

1

2

3

4

5

BRS 2

I have a hard time making it through stressful events.

1

2

3

4

5

BRS 3

It does not take me long to recover from a stressful event.

1

2

3

4

5

BRS 4

It is hard for me to snap back when something bad happens.

1

2

3

4

5

BRS 5

I usually come through difficult times with little trouble.

1

2

3

4

5

BRS 6

I tend to take a long time to get over set-back in my life.

1

2

3

4

5

 

Scoring:   Add the responses varying from 1 – 5 for all six items giving a range from 6 – 30. Divide the total sum by the total number of questions answered.

Total score:   _________ item average / 6

My score: _________ (average)

BRS Score

Interpretation

1.00 – 2.99

Low resilience

3.00 – 4.30

Normal resilience

4.31 – 5.00

High resilience

 

Strengthening your resilience can help you cope better as you continue to face life’s challenges.

Take good care of yourselves,

                                    Love Kathleen

Share this post