Ways to Build Resilience

Pro tips to top up your personal capacity and well-being     

Russell McLendon Updated: Apr 5, 2022 21:26:13 IST
Ways to Build Resilience

Being resilient isn’t about avoiding misfortune, but rather how we respond to it. Resilience means “doing well in the face of risk or adversity,” says Suniya Luthar, PhD, co-founder of Authentic Connections,a company that helps teach resilience and well-being.

Recently we’ve all needed to draw on our resilience. “We all get depleted from time to time, and the pandemic has drained the resilience capacity of nearly everyone, at one time or another,” says Ann Masten, PhD, a professor of child development at the University of Minnesota.

Even if you consider yourself resilient, you may need a booster dose in especially hard times. To build resilience, the experts suggest the following:

Nurture relationships

Set up and maintain a support network before you need it, says Michael Ungar, PhD, author of Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success. When adversity strikes, a supportive friend with good listening skills can make a big difference. And if you want your friends and family to support your resilience, remember to support theirs too.

Find a sense of purpose

“When somebody needs you, you just cope with stress that much better,”Ungar says. Your sense of purpose doesn't have to come from school or work; it can also come from hobbies or volunteer projects, like growing a backyard vegetable garden or cleaning up litter in a neighbourhood park.

Don’t try to banish misfortune completely

Resilience usually refers to how we handle serious adversity, Masten says,but our reactions to big problems may be informed partly by the many smaller setbacks we face in daily life.“Everyday stress probably helps us learn how to handle bigger challenges and gradually optimize our adaptive systems,” she says

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