What is resilience? Want to bounce back?

Building resilience- Knowing what it means is the first step

Have you ever lost someone you loved truly?

Or ever failed in a career you gave your best in?

Do you know how it feels to be a victim of infidelity?

Have you ever faced a natural disaster or had a miscarriage?

Have you ever faced social rejection just because you wanted to live your life your way?

Do you feel you do not have enough resources to lead the desired life and feel underconfident?

Suppose you have yessed any of the questions above. In that case, you are among the nine billion people on the planet facing adversity because adversity does not discriminate. There are tough times in social relationships, career paths, physical and emotional ailments. I know the pain of failing at my career not once, twice, or thrice but a dozen times. I know how it feels when we do not get approved y the people we truly value. But we cannot let others materialize on our vulnerabilities, and this requires only one skill, resilience, period.

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”

― Elizabeth Edwards

Understanding resilience

We all have brains, yet some have more ability to withstand harsher conditions while others struggle even in gentler environments. Our brains develop as we grow up and make new connections to solve problems. Resilience is the ability of the brain to preserve its good functioning in times of adversity. Resilience is the ability to fit well in the situation and bounce back quickly from an episode of distress. The distress highlights our vulnerabilities that can be taken advantage of if we cannot shield them. The magnitude of will resilience will determine

  • The way you manage the challenges offered by life
  • Your strategy protect your weaknesses or vulnerabilities and not let others take advantage of them
  • How fast you will be able to increase your resource base 

Resilient people don’t experience stress- an absolute myth. Being resilient does not signify the absence of stress or emotional arousal, or lowness. Working through your pain or suffering to get back to normal is the trait of working through your pain or suffering. More than mental toughness, it resonates with mental agility or adaptability.

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Resilience isn’t a trait that keeps constant. We can extract it more as we change our thoughts and behaviors. We can develop it through intellectual wisdom, physical flexibility, and social adeptness.

Generally, you would observe that the resistance to move on is located in your mind and body. Both aspects need to flex if you want to possess the unique superpower of being resilient to adversities. We can not also bank on the external world to help us live through and survive in hostile environments. Still, mental strength is something you can count on till your end. Mental resources like grit, courage, fearlessness, adaptability, determination, self-esteem, and compassion will always help you sail through with a considerable extent of satisfaction and happiness. 

To be resilient: 

  1. We indeed need to learn to identify what is needed of us the most. What is it that we need the most to survive this critical phase? Is it compassion, kindness, adaptability, gratefulness, hard work, consistency, or mindfulness?
  2. Now that you have identified that you want to teach a couple of skills walk acquiring them. Neuroplasticity is a concept that says that the brain’s neural pathways can be changed consciously to prevent impulsive reactions and exhibit more desirable ones to any situation.

I would love to narrate an episode from my friend Zeel’s life. She lost her husband and her job on the same day. With all the emotional trauma and financial debt, she felt really tough to survive the trial of life. She couldn’t breathe, and she couldn’t think. She was not even thinking of the normal life that most of us live. To my surprise, she not only bounced back, but she also did it within a few weeks.

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Resilience is not only the act of bouncing back, but it’s also a function of how quickly you do it. So there are two aspects related to it- 

  1. Courage 
  2. Quickness of response

Like any other skill, resilience can be strengthened with practice or weakened with being the victim of unconscious frenzies. Resilience is not only developed after or in the face of hostility; we can learn it beforehand by encountering everyday small challenges with utmost fortitude and strength. 

What is the key to finding the resilience within to utilize it when most needed? Practice. Forming our own process of overcoming any negative incident, big or small, can make us formulate our method of bouncing back. It helps us give less importance to the negative factors of life and make us capitalize more on the positive factors. 

“You must bear losses like a soldier, the voice told me, bravely and without complaint, and just when the day seems lost, grab your shield for another stand, another thrust forward. That is the juncture that separates heroes from the merely strong.”

― Margaret George, The Memoirs of Cleopatra

To know more about such skills, please visit 21 century-skills. To know about critical thinking skills to self-reflect, visit critical thinking guide. A complete guide to inculcate all skills- intellectual, emotional and spiritual, you might want to read the book 15 values for intelligent living. It gives a multidimensional description to improve all the faculties of human intelligence.

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