By Melissa Lafrance on September 13, 2016
How can some people bounce back from hardship or remain in challenging situations while others get disconcerted and remain affected for a longer period of time? Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, and other significant sources of stress. Research has shown that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary and people regularly demonstrate resilience. Having strong resiliency skills doesn’t remove challenging or distressed feelings, but rather can help reduce the time it takes to return to “normal” functioning. Luckily, resilience involves behaviours, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.
Several achievable factors are associated with resilience, including:
- Having caring and supportive relationships
- 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
Developing or enhancing resilience is a completely personal journey. Here are a few general tips to consider when developing your personal resiliency:
Make connections. Having a good support systems involving positive relationships is crucial as is accepting help from those who care about you and your wellbeing. Read more about improving the quality of your relationships.
Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. You may not be able to control or avoid stressful events from happening, but you can change your outlook and how you respond to these events. Find out how you can maintain your inner strength amidst life’s daily challenges.
Accept change. It is part of living. This may change your course of action or make certain goals no longer attainable. Learn how to deal with the stress resulting from change and how to adapt and respond effectively to changes.
Move towards your goals. Learn the SMART guide to goal setting.
Take decisive actions. Act on adverse situations as much as possible rather than passively ignoring problems and stresses. Check out some tips for great decision making.
Seize opportunities for self-discovery. Learn to meditate or try a new team sport or hobby.
Nurture a positive view of yourself. Read more on constructing confidence and building self-belief.
Maintain a perspective view on things. Avoid making difficult situations a bigger deal than they actually are. View stressful events in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective.
Maintain a hopeful outlook. Being optimistic about the future allows you to expect that good things will happen in your life. Instead of worrying and fearing for the worst, visualize a hopeful outcome. Learn ways to nourish your inner optimist.
Take care of yourself. Read more on how to improve your relationship with yourself.
Explore Mindfulness and Meditation at UBC and consider enrolling in the upcoming programs!
30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge
Learn the core skills of mindfulness through evidence-based online training. The 30-day Challenge does not involve a formal meditation practice but rather, teaches mindfulness-in-cation for everyday life.
How it works
- 5-10 minutes per day
- Online, anytime, any device
- 30 consecutive days
- Get to invite a buddy to join you for only $25
Key impact areas
- Health and wellbeing
- Increased performance
- Teamwork and conflict resolution
For those looking for a deeper understanding of mindfulness and developing a meditation practice. An in-person educational program modelling off Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
How it works
- Six-week, in-person training
- Meet for 1.5 hours once a week in a small supportive group led by Dr. Geoff Soloway
- Half day weekend retreat
- Daily home assignments for 15-30 minutes a day
Key impact areas
- Stress reduction
- Physical and mental wellbeing
- Effectiveness, teamwork, communication skills
- Focuses on integrating mindfulness in the workplace
Additional resources on building resiliency:
- More steps to building resiliency in your life
- Tips for balance and talking about resiliency
- Workplace and career resiliency