Sunday, January 5, 2014

Building Resilience

Resilience (Annabelle Chvostek album)
Resilience (Wikipedia)
by Gannett Health Services, Cornell University: http://www.gannett.cornell.edu/topics/resilience.cfm

Resilience is an individual’s ability to positively cope with stress and adversity; “bouncing back” to a previous state of normal functioning, or using the experience of adversity to enhance flexibility and overall functioning.

Resilience has multi-dimensional aspects (Wong, 2012) including:
  • Cognitive: How events are interpreted (cognitive style, appraisal, attribution) and how daily stressors and life circumstances are negotiated (coping)
  • Behavioral: Habits of persistence and endurance in face of obstacles and failures (behavioral practice and reinforcement)
  • Motivational: Clear sense of life purpose and commitment (will to live) 
  • Existential/spiritual: Sense of larger purpose and meaning of human life (meaning and life purpose)
  • Relational: Sense of social connectedness, engagement, and altruism 
  • Emotional: Ability to tolerate negative emotions and rejection and to maintain emotional confidence and hopefulness (emotion regulation, emotional intelligence)
Resilience stems from the interaction of a person with their environment and the resulting processes that either promote well-being or protect them against the overwhelming influence of risk factors.

One of the best ways people build resilience is through interaction with others. These processes can be helped along by experiences in families, colleges/ universities and other social communities that help individuals learn how to productively confront adversity.

Why Resilience Matters

All individuals will face some challenges to well-being and thriving throughout life; learning to work through these challenges is necessary for basic survival but also offers a powerful opportunity for enhancing growth and well-being.

People who are resilient are more likely to:

•    meet the demands of their academic/ work and personal lives successfully
•    take action to deal with challenges, problems and setbacks
•    seek support and assistance when needed
•    know when to stop, rest and replenish inner resources
•    have a sense of independence, self-efficacy and self-worth
•    form and maintain positive, mutually respectful relationships with others
•    have a sense of purpose and goals for the future
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