What is “resilience”?


What is resilience?

Resilience is generally thought of as a “positive adaptation” after a stressful or adverse situation. In other words, resilience is one’s ability to bounce back from a negative experience. Individuals and communities are able to rebuild their lives even after devastating tragedies.

Being resilient doesn’t mean going through life without experiencing stress and pain. People feel grief, sadness, and a range of other emotions after adversity and loss. The road to resilience lies in working through the emotions and effects of stress and painful events.

Resilience is also not something that you’re either born with or not. Resilience develops as people grow up and gain better thinking and self-management skills and more knowledge. Resilience also comes from supportive relationships with parents, peers and others, as well as cultural beliefs and traditions that help people cope with the inevitable bumps in life.  Resilience is found in a variety of behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and developed across the life span.

Factors that contribute to resilience include:

  • Close relationships with family and friends
  • A positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities
  • The ability to manage strong feelings and impulses
  • Good problem-solving and communication skills
  • Feeling in control
  • Seeking help and resources
  • Seeing yourself as resilient (rather than as a victim)
  • Coping with stress in healthy ways and avoiding harmful coping strategies, such as substance abuse
  • Helping others
  • Finding positive meaning in your life despite difficult or traumatic events

K9 First Responders often meet people when they are overcome with emotion after a horrific event or tragedy.  We work to help re-establish one’s emotional and cognitive equilibrium.  The sooner a person is able to process, assess and decide their next steps, better the chances of resiliency being seen sooner than later.

A interesting podcast may be found at: http://tinyurl.com/kudqf6c

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