Resiliency is not only crucial for the emotional, psychological, and physical well-being of an individual but also for survival. It can be defined as the knack of an individual to keep his/her cool and stay calm during adversity and the ability to bounce back and adjust to misfortune or change. In some instances, it is the capability and will to keep going even when faced with adversity. To be resilient requires character and tenacity. Difficult moments such as tragedies, family and relationship problems, threats, serious health problems, and trauma require resilience to overcome. Moreover, resiliency requires perseverance and patience to overcome difficult situations. It requires a person to focus and remain calm amid difficult times. Resiliency is an attribute that helps people survive an adverse situation and recover from even the most hostile of occurrences. Some people are more resilient than others. For example, children tend to be more resilient than adults. They worry less about what others think about them than any other group. They do not believe that failure defies them. On the contrary, children tend to see failure as a chance to learn and move on quickly. Most people cannot build resilience because they stay on the bench. They would not even sign up for something if there is potential for failure. This paper discusses resiliency and how people can develop resiliency.
Resiliency is a fundamental human potential that is both enabled and constrained by the social contexts people construct and within which they carry out their daily lives (Brown 4). Individuals and collectives are resilient in the sense that they act to transform their physical and social environments to mitigate against such events in the future. Some aspects help an individual develop resilience over time, and they include emotional or physiological regulation, developing a positive thinking pattern, and maintaining a positive psychological outlook of life. Psychological resilience is a developmental and psychosocial process through which individuals exposed to sustained adversity or potentially traumatic events experience positive psychological adaptation over time (Graber 12). Moreover, prior adversity may toughen individuals against later traumas as they develop resources, relationships, and effective coping skills (Graber 12).
Resilient people analyze the predicament they are in first before attempting to come up with a solution. By assessing a matter, they become aware of what is facing them and are thus able to devise a mode of adjusting. Resilient people have the mental toughness, grit, and psychological strength to withstand adversity and through their perseverance overcome it. Resilience research is clear that change and adaptation are possible (Graber 12). Some characteristics of resiliency in individuals equip them with an active approach to problem-solving, perceiving experiences constructively, gaining others positive attention, and having faith to maintain a positive outlook on life (Brown 4). As the pace of social change accelerates, negative developments emerge amid more positive ones, and old bulwarks of protection fade or fracture, personal resilience is quite valuable (Graham 27). Rich or poor, child or adult, sick or healthy, people need resilience since it not only helps them to help themselves but also others. The color purple is used to represent and create awareness of several diseases. Not only is the color used as a symbol for pancreatic cancer and Crohn’s disease but also for lupus and Alzheimer’s disease. People suffering from these types of diseases have to become resilient to fight the diseases and eventually overcome them. Those who lack resilience may become overwhelmed by experiences such as the death of a loved one, job loss, and financial problems and as a result, have a hard time coping with stress and life changes. Consequently, they may resort to unhealthy means of coping with difficult situations. Additionally, these individuals recover from setbacks more slowly and may experience more psychological distress as a result hence may be prone to taking drastic steps, including suicide, to ease their pain. On the other hand, resilient people are perhaps self-reliant and trust in their abilities. As a result, they are more open and comfortable in different types of scenarios since they have not idealized only one methodology or school of thought. Their openness and quick ability to adapt to change is useful in establishing what best works to bounce back from a challenge, even if it goes against common practice.
How to Become Resilient
Resilience is a developmental process which unfolds over time and is shaped by situations that occur during the life of an individual. According to Graber, it unfolds over a lifetime and has been shown to manifest differently according to gender, culture, and age (14). Additionally, resilience is underpinned by family processes during childhood and adolescence. In adulthood and later life, resilience may be differentially affected by entrenched patterns of coping, physiological stress responses, and other social relationships (Graber 14). Childhood and adolescence are crucial phases to lay the foundations for effective functioning in adulthood and that individuals change and grow throughout life. Indeed, overwhelming challenges experienced during childhood may lead the victim to to develop a character and strengths that may surface during adulthood. Strategies, interventions, and programs have been developed with the aim of assisting individuals such as school children, families at risk, and different cultural groups to become more resilient (Brown 7). According to Graber, psychologists increasingly understand there is no single form for an effective resilience promoting intervention with the strongest interventions aiming to develop psychosocial skills and support key relationships, such as positive parent-child relationships or mutually-supportive social networks (9). While mindfulness and observation-reflection created the self-awareness and expanded brain capacities that allow people to create the changes in behaviors critical to resilience, the other essential catalyst for brain change; empathy, requires skillfully interacting with other people to generate the connection and self-acceptance needed for resilience (Graham, 9). Additionally, since they remain optimistic even when faced with adversity, individuals who are resilient are better positioned to figure out solutions to personal and career/subject matters, problems, and are even open to asking and receiving help from other people. The optimism of these individuals makes them think that others are willing and open to help in return.
Learning to communicate needs and wants, mastering various strategies to have those needs met, trusting that the needs deserve to be met, and delight in growing competencies to do so form the first experiences of resilience (Graham 12). This resilience grows as people learn to bounce back from moments of fear, anger, shame, and grief and learn strategies for reaching out to people for help and protection (Graham 12). As the neural circuits mature and integrate, the feeling of trust, being loved, and becoming competent generate a sense of inner security (Graham 13). These neural patterns form part of the brains model for resilience for the rest of people’s lives. Additionally, being able to remain optimistic, calm, and collected during times of adversity makes resilient individuals more adept at evaluating and figuring out ways of overcoming a problem. Moreover, according to Brown, self-understanding has also been intricately linked to the process of resiliency since it adds to the positive adaptation of the individuals during times of adversity (9). Resilient people view mistakes and obstacles as the opportunity not only to learn but also grow. They do not have a fixed mindset; rather they possess the psychological stability and mental strength to overcome and learn from their failures, no matter how challenging that may be.
To some extent, physical and emotional resilience are inborn qualities. This means that some people, by their nature, are less disappointed by changes and surprises and can cope easily in times of adversity. These attributes can be observed in infancy and tend to be stable throughout their life. What is more, emotional resilience is related to other aspects that are not under the control of an individual such as age, gender, and exposure to trauma. Resilience can be developed over time through learning from life experiences.
Resiliency is crucial for the emotional, psychological, and physical well-being of an individual. It is also imperative for survival. Adversity makes some people strong and consequently resilient. People who are resilient can cope and adjust to adverse situations that may affect them during their lives more easily than those who are not resilient.
Graber, Rebecca, Florence Pichon, and Elizabeth Carabine. “Psychological Resilience.” Overseas Development Institute, 2015. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjCq86BmdLeAhWsBsAKHSbiDBgQFjABegQIAhAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.odi.org%2Fsites%2Fodi.org.uk%2Ffiles%2Fodi-assets%2Fpublications-opinion-files%2F9872.pdf&usg=AOvVaw39vmSSQipf3qnttHT4K6PP
Brown, David D., and Judith Celene Kulig. “The Concepts of Resiliency: Theoretical lessons from community research,” 1996. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjNvueXmdLeAhVDSsAKHUbUCHMQFjAAegQIBBAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.uleth.ca%2Fdspace%2Fhandle%2F10133%2F1275&usg=AOvVaw1SBMiFygLATL-KtsitE6nI
Graham, Linda. Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being. , 2013. Print https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=2ahUKEwiAgpirmdLeAhUsBsAKHURCAloQFjAEegQIBRAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Flive-timely-8c94704ebe.time.ly%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F02%2FRewiring-the-Brain-for-Resilience-and-Wellbeing-Brochure.pdf&usg=AOvVaw0nDoiYg18o-b8gJF5V8L2A