During these unprecedented times where curveballs are being thrown left, right and centre, our resilience is a quality that is undoubtedly being tested. During Mental Health Awareness Week, resilience plays an even greater role in keeping our minds healthy, especially during the lockdown.
How resilient we are can determine how well we will recover from the inevitable difficult situations that life presents us and is a skill that is transferrable to every aspect of our lives. Whilst most of us will be able to recognize a resilient person, what is it that actually makes them resilient?
Resilience isn’t a quality that can be switched on and off. Instead, it is a mindset, for which your outlook on life will play a huge factor in how you respond to different situations. Whilst many individual qualities could be said to contribute to a person’s resilience, there are three particular characteristics that have been pinpointed.
Firstly, resilience is about realism as opposed to optimism. The effects of an optimistic outlook could be considered limited. Whereas, a realistic outlook will allow a person to be best prepared for the worst possible scenario, making them more likely to come out the other side unscathed.
Secondly, a resilient person takes time to analyse and make sense of the circumstances. This involves adopting the well known idea that breaking the whole down into more sizeable chunks, thereby making the situation less daunting and more manageable.
Finally is the ability to improvise with whatever you have to work with. This encompasses creativity, the ability to think outside the box, and search for alternative solutions.
Therefore, developing resilience will involve an ongoing process of developing self-awareness. Being more observant of your internal dialogue and understanding why you respond in the way you do will allow you to formulate a more logical response. In turn, this will make you better equipped to confront life’s obstacles with a more positive and motivated mindset.