What is Resilience?

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. It is what gives people the psychological strength to cope with stress and hardship. Resilience is the mental reservoir of strength that one can use in times of need. People who are resilient are able to handle such adversity and rebuild their lives after a catastrophe. At some point, everyone experiences varying degrees of change or loss. How we deal with these problems can play a significant role in long-term psychological consequences.


People who are resilient are able to utilize their skills and strengths to cope and recover from problems and challenges. This does not mean that they experience less distress, grief, or anxiety than other people do, but it means that they handle such difficulties in ways that foster strength and growth. In some cases, they even emerge stronger than they were prior.

Those who lack resilience may become overwhelmed by these experiences. Dwelling on problems or using unhealthy coping mechanisms can be difficult when dealing with life’s challenges. This can create a slower recovery from these setbacks with a higher change of psychological distress.

Resilience does not erase stress or difficulties. They still experience the emotional pain, grief, and sense of loss that comes after a tragedy, but they understand that sometimes life is hard and painful. This mental outlook allows one to work through their feelings and recover.


Factors That Contribute to Resilience

To some people, resilience comes naturally, however, these behaviors are not just inborn traits found in a select few individuals. Resilience is actually quite common and people are very capable of learning the skills it takes to become more resilient.

Some factors associated with resilience include:

  • Holding positive views of themselves and their abilities

  • The capacity to make realistic plans and stick to them

  • Having an internal locus of control

  • Being a good communicator

  • Viewing themselves as fighters rather than victims

  • Having high emotional intelligence and managing emotions effectively