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DOES EVERYONE HAVE RESILIENCE?

CAN EVERYONE INCREASE THEIR RESILIENCE?

HOW DO YOU INCREASE YOUR RESILIENCE?

CARING FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

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What Is The Meaning of Resilience? 

The ability to recover from an ‘a negative emotional impact’ or very difficult life event; toughness. 

 

What Is Resilience? 

As we look around us, one will notice that people all over the world appear to recover from difficult life events at different rates or it seems that some people appear be able to quickly adapt and cope with or ‘bounce back’ than others, whether it involves a family loss, a tragedy, natural disasters, a health concern, a relationship break-up, difficulties at work, loss of work, change of career, moving home, immigration, changing of schools, difficult relationships at school, or at work.  

It seems that therefore, that some people require a lot more support as they struggle to cope through and manage their adversity, tragedy or loss, while some cope just fine.  Although there are many different reasons for why this might be, psychologists call the rate of someone adapting or being able to cope with difficult life events ‘resilience’. 

People with higher resilience rates seem to recover/bounce back quickly, while those with lower resilience, often refer to feeling very ‘stuck’ and struggle to work through their negative life-changing event. 

 

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Does everyone have resilience?  Yes 

Basically, resilience is in all of us, but for some people, it appears they are better ‘trained’ for want of a better word at accessing it and implementing it.  People with higher resilience have often learnt to manage their emotions, are better equipped to cognitively set aside their emotions and focus on what needs to be done to problem solve.  Resilience doesn’t mean the person doesn’t feel the intensity of the event or problem, it is only they have found a way to adapt, cope and work through what they need to do to solve the problem.  They therefore, gain traction through the problem and adapt as they work through it.   

 

Can everyone increase their resilience? Yes 

Everyone can learn to increase their resilience abilities.  Think of resilience like building up the tolerance in your body to run a marathon; one need to learn and build up their fitness to manage the ‘burn’ through running 1km, then 2km, then 5km, then 10km.  You can’t just run 10km the first time you walk through the door.   

 

Building and increasing resilience is like developing any human skill.  

Additonally, developing and learning resilience is something you can acquire and build at any at age, and from any background.  However, learning how to implement and develop this skill will first require one’s absolute willingness to learn, and then you need the knowledge of how to do it.   

 

This is where perhaps seeking a child psychologist or adolescent psychologist will be helpful, as implementing these skills while your children are growing and learning how to manage life, is helpful as children can quickly apply skills and build upon skills they have already learnt, especially as they develop through their teenage years.  Additionally, building resilience builds higher self-esteem. 

 

How do you increase resilience? 

There are many ways a person can begin to build their resilience: 

  • Building Positive Relationships:   It is important to feel connected with people, to have positive, supportive friendships, because this connection allows a person or child to feel supported and understood in their world.   These relationships are important because it helps people understand and know within themselves how they operate and communicate amongst others in their life. It is also important that children/people feel a sense of belonging and meaning to others, as well as have support when or if a negative life-event occurs.  Knowing all this, is ‘resilience building’.  

  • High self-esteem:  having a positive self-image, building knowing who you are (identity) and confidence in your strengths and abilities (self-knowledge) is very important to building high resilience. 

  • Being consistent in yourself and to others: Regularly being able to make ‘realistic plans’ or goals and then being able to carry these through with oneself or with others, makes one build self-belief.  People need to know they are reliable and responsible to themselves and to others to have resilience. 

  • Good communication skills: 

  • Being able to emotionally regulate:  Being able to effectively manage one’s negative emotions and emotions; thus, being able to display one’s emotions through difficult times in a positive and healthy manner. 

  • Having good problem-solving skills:  Being able to proactively, systematically and methodically work through a problem. 

These are just a few areas in a person’s life that they can focus on to build better or higher resilience. 

Caring for your mental health

A good mental health is having an overall sense of ‘positive’ wellbeing mentally; feeling confident, having a well-balanced sense of self-worth, self-esteem, and a sense of identity.  A healthy mental wellbeing is when we are able to fully enjoy and appreciate those around us, feel good in our day-to-day life and function positively in our environment.  Basically, when we are mentally healthy, we can:

  • Form positive relationships

  • Maintain those relationships

  • Plan and implement our abilities to reach our potential

  • We can tend to bounce quite quickly back from life’s challenges.

    • How can we improve our mental health?

    • To improve our mental health we need to take responsibility for the way we function in our world and generally when we do this, people feel empowered to implement and maintain the things we need to do to maintain or implement new things for healthy mental living.  Some positive tips on how to maintain a healthy mind are:

    •  

    • Find someone you feel you can trust to talk to

    • confide in them regularly and tell them about your thoughts and feelings

    • Find the time to exercise regularly, even if it’s 15 mins a day or 3 x a week

    • Eat healthy meals

    • Eat regularly through the day

    • Sleep healthily: meaning you need to get approximately 7-8 hours of sleep at night and on evaluation of your sleep routine, make sure it is not disturbed sleep.

    • Spend time with friends and loved ones

    • Develop new skills and spend time learning new fun things to do

    • Find time to relax

    • Start up your hobbies again and if they don’t feel like fun to do anymore, find the time to start up a new hobby

    • Set realistic goals; meaning take one goal and break it down into smaller more manageable goals

    • If you are concerned about anything – seek a health practitioner to speak to who can refer you to the appropriate health professional to support you.

 
 
 
 

MICHELLE BARRATT PSYCHOLOGY

35 Wondall Road

WYNNUM WEST

Qld 4178

Tel: 0401 924 331 

Fax:  (07) 3009 0553

MICHELLE BARRATT PSYCHOLOGY

Suite 37, Level 1 Benson House,

No. 2 Benson Street, TOOWONG,

Qld 4066.

Tel: 0411 731 516

Fax: (07) 3009 0075

 

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Accreditations

Michelle Barratt is a Fellow of the Clinical College at the Australian Psychological Society.