All of us time to time face traumatic events that change our lives. The death of a loved one, loss of a job, knowing a diagnosis of a serious illness and so forth are the examples of challenging life experiences. How do we deal with them? You would say: “Differently”. You are right, but at the same time most of us react to such circumstances with expressing strong emotions and feeling uncertain.
At the same time, the majority of people generally adapt well over time to life-challenging situations. How can this be explained? Resilience is the magic word here. This is an ongoing process that requires time and effort. Resilience is a combination of factors such as
- The capacity to make realistic plans and take steps to carry them out.
- A positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities.
- Skills in communication and problem solving.
- The capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses (APA Brochure).
Being resilient does not mean that a person does not experience difficulty of distress. It is important to understand that resilience is not a personality trait; instead it is characterised be behaviour patterns, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.
Next time we’ll talk about ways to built resilience.