Resilience is a life skill anybody can develop. It is the ability to learn from mistakes, view setbacks as challenges to overcome and bounce back from negative thinking. Having a resilient mindset can help you manage stress and anxiety and in turn can improve your overall mental health.
What Resilience Is Not
Resilience does not mean winning all the time. In fact, people with high levels of resilience tend to fail more often than people with low resilience simply because they put themselves out there more, take on tough challenges and aren’t afraid of being told no. Developing resilience is not about getting things right the first time or having life handed to you on a plate; a resilient mindset is a set of healthy attitudes that allow you to fall down and get back up again time and time again without losing hope.
A Resilient Mindset
A resilient person goes through the same struggles in life as everyone else but reframes difficult situations as challenges to overcome. When you are faced with a hurdle such as a difficult assignment at work or a crisis in your personal life, do you see it as an obstacle or a chance to improve yourself, your career and your life? Developing a resilient mindset means turning the most trying times in your life into challenges and using every difficult circumstance as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Resilience and Mental Health
Mental health problems can affect your mindset. A person with severe anxiety might catastrophize a small issue. A person with depression might lack the motivation to overcome a hurdle. A resilient attitude will not cure a mental health problem, and it is likely that bouts of illness will alter your attitudes regardless of your healthy mindset. But developing resilience can help you recover faster, especially if you suffer from a recurring illness that affects your career or personal life. Viewing your illness as a challenge frames it as something you can recover from; viewing it as endless and inevitable makes it harder to see the light and move toward recovery.
Resilience and Self-Care
Resilience is not about toughing things out or denying yourself essential self-care. In fact, a resilient mindset can help you to engage in healthy self-care without getting stuck in avoidance strategies that hinder rather than help. When you struggle with mental health, every task can feel like a major hurdle, and it’s easy to let things pile up so that over time they become overwhelming and make it even harder to get up and back into the swing of things. A resilient mindset could help you keep on top of essential tasks, even when you are struggling, so that you can bounce back more quickly once you start to recover.
If you don’t feel like you are a resilient person, you can develop this skill. All you need to do is assess your current attitudes toward difficult situations and problems: Do you run away, rely on another person or avoid taking on responsibilities so that you can minimize potential difficulties? Then work out how you would like to address these situations: What would happen if you viewed difficult situations as challenges to be overcome and took opportunities to leave your comfort zone and learn something new?
Adjusting your attitude won’t happen overnight, but if you work toward a more resilient mindset, you should start to notice an improvement in your mental health.