Characteristics of Resilient People
Resilience is the ability to move through and grow from difficult times. It’s a skill you develop over time from the lessons and experiences you absorb as you grow up and face challenges. Resilience doesn’t mean you don’t have stress or mental health challenges—it means adjusting in the face of them, learning how to manage them, and asking for help when you need it.
Why is resilience important? Because if you are resilient, you will be able to move through and even be strengthened by the challenges you face. Resilience doesn’t make your problems go away or solve them, but it certainly helps you cope and adjust. With resilience, you can have positive and negative emotions at the same time. The key is using healthy coping skills to deal with them.
Luckily, there are many ways you can build your resilience.
Grow a Support Network
Having a solid support system is an important part of resilience. The people in your circle—parents, caregivers, friends, relatives, teachers, or coaches—can provide guidance and comfort when you’re struggling with a problem. A great way to tap into your support network is by asking for help when you need it. Like resilience, this is a skill that takes practice.
Know It Will Pass
A key part of resilience is learning to accept emotional pain and stress as part of life, and reminding yourself that negative experiences and emotions will pass or become easier to manage with time. When faced with a challenge, allow yourself to feel your feelings.
Getting comfortable with change is a basic part of resilience. When your goals, plans, ideas, or hopes have to be adjusted, a flexible and accepting attitude—which takes time and effort to develop—will allow you to focus on new plans or hopes. When you are able to accept the things you can’t change or control, it frees you up to put your effort into the things you can change or control.
Try to Stay Positive
You don’t get to choose the obstacles life puts in your path, but you have some control over your response to adversity. During hard times, it’s helpful to find something positive to think about and imagine a positive outcome. Even if you don’t have all the answers and the solution to your problems isn’t obvious, you can try to believe things will work out. It’s challenging—especially if you are coping with depression or anxiety—but give yourself grace and identify even one good thing every day.
Laugh About It
You may have heard that laughter is the best medicine. If you are able to laugh at yourself and laugh with others, you will lighten your load. Laughing and using humor are wonderful ways to connect to others and deal with stress. You could try getting together with a friend or family member who always makes you laugh or turning on a funny TV show or movie.