What Is Resiliency and How To Be More Resilient


What Is Resiliency?

Resiliency is defined as the personal qualities that enable one to thrive in the face of adversity (Connor & Davidson, 2003). In life, we all face many stressful experiences. Resiliency is all about how we cope with these stressors. (Take this well-being quiz to learn about your resiliency and other aspects of well-being).

Why Is Resiliency Important?

The better we can recover after we experience something difficult or stressful, the better we are protected from the ill effects of stress. That’s why resilience can not only help our mental well-being, it can also help our physical health (Gaffey, Bergeman, Clark, & Wirth, 2016).

Given how important being resilient is, it can often be helpful to improve this skill. Here are some science-based tips for boost resiliency :

1. Build Emotion Regulation Skills

When we go through hard times, we may get angry, anxious, sad, or overwhelmed. But, if we learn to manage and regulate these emotions , they don’t have such a negative impact. That’s why developing emotion regulation skills like cognitive reappraisal , acceptance, and mindfulness can be really helpful.

2. Take Care of Yourself

Another key part of recovering from difficulties is self-care . Making sure that we’re getting enough sleep, eating healthfully, and getting some moderate exercise ensures that our bodies can better handle stressors and negativity . If you’re having a hard time feeling resilient, try to take better care of your body.

3. Balance Life and Work

Many factors can impair our recovery and lead to burnout. These things include too much work, not enough control, not enough pay, and social issues at work (Maslach & Leiter, 2016). Watch for these triggers and try to switch jobs if possible if you’re feeling burned out. Other strategies include taking breaks using these relaxation techniques to settle your mind and body.

4. Practice Self-Compassion

Positive self-beliefs are absolutely essential for resilience. When we already feel bad about ourselves, we may experience stressors as extra stressful. Maybe we blame ourselves or believe that our failures just confirm the negative beliefs we have about ourselves. That’s why practicing and developing self-compassion may improve resiliency.

5. Cultivate Positive Social Connections

Social connections are crucial for resilience. Social connections are not only enjoyable, but they are also good for our mental, emotional, and physical health (Holt-Lunstad, Robles, & Sbarra, 2017). If you’re going through a rough time, try connecting with other people.

6. Look for Meaning

Sometimes hardship can feel meaningless. We might think: Why did this have to happen to us? But if we can make meaning from what happened, it can help us cope and be more resilient (Park, 2008). That’s why meaning-making is another useful tool to put in our resilience toolkit.

7. Make Use of Your Strengths

When we go through hard times, we may be better off by making use of our strengths . For example, if we have strong social skills, we might make extra efforts to connect with others. Or, if we’re better at meditating, we might instead opt to do that. Regardless of what our strengths are, it may be helpful to do something we’re good at and get a little boost in self-esteem.

8. Don’t Give Up

We all have tough times in our lives. The better we can do to not feel defeated by these times, the better off we’ll be. Don’t give up. Keep experimenting to see what techniques help you cope better and feel more resilient.

Created with content from The Berkeley Well-Being Institute.


Connor, K. M., & Davidson, J. R. (2003). Development of a new resilience scale: The Connor‐Davidson resilience scale (CD‐RISC). Depression and anxiety, 18(2), 76-82.

Gaffey, A. E., Bergeman, C. S., Clark, L. A., & Wirth, M. M. (2016). Aging and the HPA axis: Stress and resilience in older adults. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 68, 928-945.

Maslach, C., & Leiter, M. P. (2016). Burnout. In Stress: Concepts, cognition, emotion, and behavior (pp. 351-357). Academic Press.

Holt-Lunstad, J., Robles, T. F., & Sbarra, D. A. (2017). Advancing social connection as a public health priority in the United States. American Psychologist, 72(6), 517.

Park, C. L. (2008). Testing the meaning making model of coping with loss. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 27(9), 970-994.

This post was previously published on Psychology Today.


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The post What Is Resiliency and How To Be More Resilient appeared first on The Good Men Project.

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