Is it possible to learn to be resilient?

Our existence is full of challenges. We must all learn to face problems and difficulties as inseparable elements of our development as human beings. This ability to successfully manage and overcome crises is known as resilience. Resilience refers to the ability to face and overcome difficult times, but also to recover from them.

This ability to recover and carry on with a positive mentality in the face of everyday difficulties can be the difference between someone who is able to function under pressure and someone who loses their temper in the face of the unexpected. In general, resilient people cope more effectively with times of stress.

In the field of psychology, it has been shown that some people are born with a greater capacity for resilience than others. However, this attitude can also be learned; in this article we collect a series of techniques to develop one’s own resilience. Whether we’re preparing for the future or going through a tough time right now, these methods can help us face life more effectively.

What is Resilience?

In short, resilience is defined as the ability to recover after facing difficulties.

When we are faced with difficult life situations to handle, we basically have two options. You can give up and let the situation get you down or cultivate resilience. In other words, try to overcome it.

The dictionary of the Real Academia Española de la lengua defines resilience as the human capacity to face and overcome extreme circumstances. Many psychologists suggest that resilience, in addition to helping people overcome traumatic situations, also allows us to learn from them and develop our potential as human beings.

Resilience, as a psychological element, was first described in the 1970s. About 20 years ago, American developmental psychologist Emmy Werner studied a group of people from the island of Kauai, a small, relatively poor Hawaiian island.

His investigation ends in 1973, with a result that highlights the differences in resilience capacity between the participants. The study concluded that two-thirds of study subjects with alcoholic or mentally ill parents exhibited problems in adulthood. However, a third of young adults were described as “resilient” and they showed no signs of difficulty despite their upbringing.

If we expand the definition of resilience; a person is resilient when they use mental processes and behaviors to protect themselves from stressors, or their negative effects, while promoting a positive attitude. The term is also associated with the ability to recover, that is to say the ability to calmly emerge from a difficult situation without lasting repercussions.

Certain situations, health conditions or psychological traits limit the capacity for resilience. By looking closely at these factors, we can better recognize them. what aspects of behavior and conditions promote or impede greater resilience. These features include:

  • Overanalysis
  • Difficulty thinking with perspective
  • passive personality
  • Worse overall health


How to develop resilience?

Resilience capacity is closely linked to other general health factors. By taking positive steps to improve our lifestyle, we can also develop resilience skills. The actions we take to take care of ourselves, such as eating well and exercising, allow us to better face the difficulties of daily life. Below we collect a series of general tips that can help develop better resilience.

1. Find a goal

The search for meaning is an intrinsic necessity of human beings; however, many of us seem to be walking around aimlessly until something opens our eyes. Some people after facing a traumatic situation, such as the death of a loved one, need to equip it with a positive meaning be able to move forward. Armed with this motivation, they may decide to found charities to try to prevent this from happening again or simply to change the way they live and deal with situations. Finding purpose after a crisis or tragedy is an important part of recovery.

2. Be confident in your own abilities

Building resilience starts with trusting in ourselves and our own abilities. this it involves trusting our ability to cope with life’s stressors, or in its own coping mechanisms in the event of a crisis. This security in ourselves can be achieved by learning new skills, improving existing ones, or taking on new challenges.

To achieve this, we must immediately replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts, phrases like “I can do it” or “I’m good at my job” must replace the negative comments that exist in our head.

Developing good self-esteem is essential for overcoming stress and recovering from difficult times. To increase it, we need to remind ourselves frequently of what we do well and what we were able to accomplish. You have to remember that life is not an easy road, just wanting to move forward has a lot of value.

3. Have meaningful relationships

Dealing with a crisis always has an emotional cost. Having a network of support and trust can help reduce the burden considerably. Having people in our lives that we can trust helps us overcome obstacles and difficult times. Sharing our difficulties and allowing us to talk about our feelings with someone close to us will not make our problems go away, but it will help us deal with them.

Ultimately, talking to someone about our struggles can help us relieve stress, receive positive feedback, and even get possible solutions we couldn’t have considered on our own.

4. Don’t be afraid of change

Some people, faced with major changes in their lives, get stuck and feel unqualified to deal with the new situation. In place, resilient people are able to adapt to new circumstances and even thrive in them and they easily adapt to changes; in difficult times, they are able to see the positive in the new situation and accept it without resistance. Flexibility is an essential element of resilience.

4. Don’t be afraid of change

It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself when you’re stressed or struggling. Stress can negatively interfere with interest in food, exercise, or sleep patterns. Instead of focusing on stress and its consequences, it’s important to focus on improving our ability to push ourselves. This means investing time in the activities we enjoy. Meeting our needs enables us to face life’s challenges with greater health and resilience.

5. Develop a proactive attitude

Proactivity refers to the degree of initiative in the face of new challenges. Proactive people have a positive attitude and come up with new solutions to problems without being asked. People who can imagine solutions to a problem are more able to meet the challenges of everyday life than those who do not do so regularly.

Proactivity is a trait that can be developed; To do this, we must experiment with different strategies, until we develop a logical way of solving problems that works for us and allows us to solve the most frequent ones. Expose and resolve regularly problems prepares us to face future challenges and difficulties.

6. Set goals

To develop our capacity for resilience, it is important to learn how to set goals, concise goals help to set goals. In the face of a crisis, it is important to keep a cool head. Emotionally unstable people often feel unable to cope with a problem, while resilient people can set concrete goals to solve it. Although sometimes the circumstances seem impossible to overcome, set reasonable goals by realistically assessing the situation You can dissect the problem and break it down into a series of smaller steps (goals).

So when you feel overwhelmed by a situation, it is better to take a step back to assess its true extent. Analyze possible solutions and break them down into achievable steps.

7. Take Action

Problems do not go away on their own. Adopting a passive attitude in the face of problems often leads to prolonging them. In place, you have to work immediately to find possible solutions when a problem first appears. Although there is no quick or total solution, steps can always be taken to improve the current situation and reduce stress.

To deal effectively with the problems, it is necessary not to focus on the work that remains to be done, but to focus on the progress that has already been made, while planning the next steps that will allow us to move towards improvement. Instead of waiting passively, acting proactively allows us not only to solve problems, but also to achieve our goals.

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