Updated: Sep 24, 2020
What is Resilience?
A simple definition of resilience is- the ability to recover quickly from difficulties.
The American Psychology Association defines mental resilience as "the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences."
Have you ever wondered why a person who had a traumatic or negative upbringing turns out seemingly well adjusted? Yet another person in that same family may be on drugs, have issues coping, and fitting in? They may also have trouble in school or with relationships. Either they never get it together or after going down some challenging roads- finally, turn out, ok?
I'm the one in my family that seemed to have it all together. But I didn't. I had problems focusing at school, emotional breakdowns (at all the wrong times). And had addictive tendencies- using spending and food as my drugs of choice.
If you follow Joyce Meyer, you know she and her brother had different lives.
I know other siblings where one has come out of their tragedy "still standing" and the other one not so much.
Why is that?
Some personality types have it more than others. Some people can tap into resilience and use it to overcome setbacks in life. For others, resilience is something that can be learned.
Why it's essential to develop more resilience in our lives.
According to Joshua Miles, "Resilience is important for several reasons; it enables us to develop mechanisms for protection against experiences which could be overwhelming, it helps us to maintain balance in our lives during difficult or stressful periods, and can also protect us from the development of some mental health difficulties and issues."
"Resilience is what gives people the psychological strength to cope with stress and hardship. It is the mental reservoir of strength that people can call on in times of need to carry them through without falling apart. Psychologists believe that resilient individuals are better able to handle such adversity and rebuild their lives after a catastrophe." - Amy Morin
Usually, when I'm teaching or writing on a subject, I get tested in it. At the time of this writing, Coronavirus is still with us, and many children are attending school from home. I've been helping my grandkids with their schoolwork.
I love my mornings. I spend time with the Lord and plan my day. Today, I rearranged my morning routine to start on what I needed to do before they came over.
However, my husband just informed me there is a Zoom meeting this morning for one of the children, and they won't be here until later- if at all.
I'm a planner. Plus, I don't like surprises. At first, I got frustrated that I rearranged my morning so I could help out. (I love my relaxing mornings).
Then all the things I have learned and teach surfaced in my mind to help me 'get over' and 'let go' of the frustration.
I took a deep breath, set some boundaries for going forward, and decided to 'drop it, leave it, and let it go'.
The old me, would fuss and fuss. Carry on and on. And make a big deal out of this situation. The inappropriate emotional response I describe above, was partly due to not making peace with my painful past. I carried hurts with me into my present- which put a hefty strain on my relationships.
That's one of the reasons I do what I do. I share what I've learned- and finally applied.
Practicing these simple techniques and doing what you need to do for you helps to keep you from going through the pain and poor health I went through because of not letting go, forgiving, etc.
Ok- back to our topic- resilience- which I just used to bounce back from that minor upset.
If you are lacking in your fair share of resilience, good news- it can be learned.