I've been asked to provide a workshop to a group of young woman on resilience and wellbeing, and in putting together some of my content I realised that this is a topic that I haven't shared here.
What is resilience? For me, and probably many others, resilience is the ability to bounce back when things get tough. To understand that the bad times are temporary and be able to keep the faith, feel the feels and work through any struggles and adapt so that I can return back to thriving, rather than just surviving.
In doing some research I found that there are three types of resilience:
- Inherent resilience – what we are born with and comes naturally
- Adapted resilience – learnt on the spot due to experiencing a difficult or traumatic event
- Learnt resilience – built up over time due to our life experiences, and we can call on it when we need to. This allows us to develop ways to bounce back when things get tough
Building up our resilience allows us to see things for what they are, not to over-react and perceive things as worse than they really are, which allows us to manage and look after our well-being. Resilience helps us maintain balance during the ups and downs, or stressful periods.
I believe that resilience allows us to be more vulnerable and develop more meaningful connections, because we are able to let our guards down and let people in if we have the resilience to bounce back if we are hurt. If we struggle to bounce back when someone hurts us, we might be more likely to limit the number of people we open ourselves up to.
Without resilience we can make risky decisions – such as excessive drinking, taking drugs etc to numb ourselves from reality.
Because resilience builds up our reserves to deal with the curve balls life throws as us, it helps us to flourish, which is one of my definitions or mental well-being - thriving and flourishing, not just surviving.