Monday, 5 March 2018

Reslience - what it is and how to get more of it

I said in my last blog that resilience was the amount of 'bounce back' you have when you’re under pressure. In very simplistic terms, the more resilient you are, the better you cope. So is resilience something you’re born with or can it be learned?

A few facts about resilience

  • Most of us are more resilient than we think. Following extreme experiences (such as natural disaster, trauma) no-one is unaffected. But only about 30% of us develop problems, or experience long-term harmful effects.
  • Your resilience varies depending on the type of stress you’re under, and at different times in your life.
  • Those who think positive thoughts more often than negative ones tend to be more resilient, especially if the ratio is at least 3:1
  • You can improve your resilience if you work at it

What factors affect your resilience?

  • Temperament - some of us just seem to have an inbuilt ability to tolerate more stress than others, in children temperament has been linked with both genetics and environment, even the environment of the womb.
  • Parenting styles - if our parents are calm and coping well, and help us to form secure bonding attachments, we're more likely to be resilient
  • Practice - if we experience successes and challenges we can overcome when we are children, we seem to cope better with stress and trauma later in life
  • Hope - if we can see or imagine a better future, or that a negative situation is likely to improve, we are more likely to be resilient
  • Cognitive skills - those who learn quickly and can generalise learning from one situation to another are likely to deal better with stress
  • Perseverance - the ability to work towards long term goals and achievements rather than to seek immediate gratification
  • Relationships - feeling that you are special to someone (parents, partner etc) and that you can get support or comfort when it’s needed

Improving your resilience*

  • develop and maintain supportive relationships, with family, friends and others
  • learn ways not to be overwhelmed by a crisis or stressful event
  • find ways to live with situations if you can't change them
  • make sure your goals are realistic goals and take regular steps to achieve them
  • practice being decisive, and be proactive when things are not going your way
  • try to learn something about yourself from each challenge you face
  • work on your self-confidence and appreciate your own good qualities
  • keep things in perspective, take the long term view
  • cautious optimism is a good approach - plan for the worst if you must but don't dwell on it
  • look after yourself and pay attention to your own needs - physical and emotional

Need help with doing this?
email me for an appointment (Normanton, West Yorkshire, UK)

* based on the American Psychological Association's '10 Ways to Build Resilience'


Author: is a professional stress management coach, specialising in working with individuals and smaller employers to minimise stress and maximise feeling in control.
Debbie is the author of Their Worlds, Your Words and has co-written the Hypnotherapy Handbook both of which are available from Amazon.
Find out more about Debbie's services on  or phone 01977 678593

No comments:

Post a Comment