Your Capacity for Resilience: 5 Habits That Help Overcome Adversity
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Your Capacity for Resilience: 5 Habits That Help Overcome Adversity

Posted on: August 3, 2015

Resilience is not magic. It’s not a “gift” or found only in certain people. All of us have the capacity to be resilient. Everyone can learn how to face the inevitable problems and troubles of life, work through them, and be strengthened by them.

five habits of resilient people | mercy professional counseling, canton, ohio

Life can be full of adversities, troubles, misfortune or harm.  Some experiences are external, like fires, earthquakes, floods, drought, bombings, wars or violent crime. Some of them are in families, such as divorce, abuse, or loss of a job, home or loved one. And some of them are within the individual — fear of rejection, loss of love, personal harm, failure or illness.

However, each of us perceives adversity in different ways. For example, a divorce may be seen as adverse by one person, while another sees it as a way to be safe from harm. But when anyone has an experience that causes great stress, fear, or a sense of alienation, the experience will be seen as harmful and adverse.

Resilience is the human capacity to face, work through, overcome, be strengthened by, and even be transformed by experiences of adversity.

Resilience is not magic. It’s not a “gift” or found only in certain people. All of us have the capacity to be resilient. Everyone can learn how to face the inevitable problems and troubles of life, work through them, and be strengthened by them.

How resilient are you? Take our Quick Resiliency Quiz.

Five Habits of Resilient People That You Can Adopt

The term “resilience” wasn’t used consistently until the 1980s. It’s a concept that focuses on developing and building people’s strengths so that they are not so much protected against, but are prepared for life’s adversities. Anyone can learn to be resilient and stress hardy — to bounce back quickly, and to recover their strength, good spirits and good humor.

#1 – Care for Health and Well-being

At the most basic level, people who are resilient take care of their health and well-being. They have supportive relationships and express themselves openly, honestly, and appropriately. They don’t allow others to manipulate them.

#2 – Problem-Solution Mindset

Resilient people quickly assess a problem when it arises and begin looking at options and solutions. They don’t get too caught up in wasting time and emotions on being the victim, assigning blame, or feeling sorry for themselves. They focus on the challenge or problem and begin to work through it. 

#3 – Reserve of Inner Strength

People who are resilient have a reserve of inner strength they draw on when trouble arises. This strength comes from the three nervous systems that are in the body: the somatic system, the autonomous nervous system, and the central nervous system.

  • The somatic system controls self-confidence — a measure of the regard or value we have for ourselves and our abilities.
  • The autonomic nervous system controls self-esteem  a measure of how we feel about ourselves, what we like or dislike about ourselves, our idea of our strengths and limitations. A healthy self-esteem helps us put praise and criticism in perspective; it keeps praise from going to our heads, and blame from going to our hearts.
  • The central nervous system controls our self-concept — the measure of our tendency to believe and act as though we can influence problem-solving and good outcomes. It’s a focus on internal strengths.

#4 – Flexibility

The fourth aspect of resiliency is flexibility, both mental and emotional. Being able to see the conflicting pieces of the puzzle and use them.  Flexibility is being open to all possible solutions and being able to adjust our responses and behavior accordingly.

#5 – Ability to Learn

Finally, people who are resilient learn from bad experiences. They overcome set-backs, they recover faster, and may even come out stronger than before. They are able to change their goals, priorities, and attitudes. They recognize that change is the norm in life rather than a threat.

This quote, in many ways, encapsulates resilience: “The courage of the mind is greater than the body." Focus on implementing these habits of resiliency into your life today – before you face the next instance of adversity.

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Are you facing adverse circumstances? Speaking with one of our professionals with Mercy Concern Professional Counseling Services may help. Learn more here or call 330-489-1415.

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