Resilience - The Great Human Trait
Resilience is arguably one of the most important characteristics we can develop as human beings.
There is a reason we are drawn to enigmatic figures who have bounced back from hardships. Think Nelson Mandela, who famously said: “Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
According to Sydney-based clinical psychologist Dr Tim Sharp, resilience can be thought of as the end result of several integrated strategies.
“When someone masters these, they’ll still face challenges and adversity, but they’ll be able to work through them more effectively and bounce back more quickly,” Dr Sharp said.
“In fact, real resilience is the ability to ‘bounce forward’; because if we’re really managing well we’ll not just recover but learn and grow and move on to a stronger, better self.”
So, what are these strategies? Dr Sharp’s core components of resilience are:
1. Taking care of our physical health and wellbeing: eating well, exercising often, and ensuring adequate sleep and rest.
2. Optimistic thinking: which isn’t the same as positive thinking. It does involve focusing on what’s going well; but it also involves facing up to the cold hard realities, and looking for solutions that will make the situation better.
3. Keeping things in perspective: understanding that MOST problems are not catastrophes and will not last forever.
4. Focusing on what can be controlled and accepting what can’t.
5. Reaching out for help: resilient people know they don’t always have to do it all on their own. Rather, they’re more likely to utilise their social and occupational supports if and when necessary.
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