Building personal skills to endure stress and hardship of life

Resilience has many meanings. In Psychology, it usually means being able to adapt to life’s difficulties and setbacks. Resilience often gets quite effected when patient do suffer from mental health problems, and cannot cope with day-to-day pressures and problems of life.

What do we do when something goes wrong? There is a saying in Armed Forces – ‘When the going gets tough, the tough gets going’. Is this usually what happens. Maybe not! When something goes wrong, often we do not tend to bounce back easily. Our lives do fall apart, till we get appropriate help.

When you have adequate mental resilience, we tend to harness inner strength that helps you rebound back from a difficult situation, setback or challenge. This can be a death in the family, loss of relationship, a job loss, an illness, a disaster, or something that we are not prepared for. If we lack mental resilience, we might dwell on our problems incessantly, feel unusually victimized, become overwhelmed or turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as gambling or substance abuse.

Resilience usually won’t make our problems go away — but resilience can give us the inherent ability to see a way forward, tackle the issues with ‘problem-solving attitude’, find enjoyment in life and better manage stress. If we aren’t as resilient as is required, we can easily develop our skills to become more resilient.

Adapting to adversity

Resilience is the inherent ability to ‘roll with the punches’. When stress, adversity or trauma strikes, we still experience some degree of panic, dread, anger, loss and pain, but we are usually able to keep functioning — both physically and psychologically. Resilience isn’t necessarily about ‘toughing it out’, being stoic or going it alone. In fact, it is probably more about effectively communicate with people around us, develop a pragmatic ‘problem solving attitude’, hoping for the best, and also networking with others for support are the key components of being resilient.

Relevance to mental health

Resilience offers inherent protection from various mental health issues,like such as depression and anxiety. Resilience can also help neutralise factors that increase the risk of mental health illnesses, such as stress, lack of social support, being harassed or previous history of trauma. If we have an existing mental health condition, being resilient can improve our ability to cope better with environmental stress.