We all encounter stressful situations and events: death of a loved one, pressure at work or at school, serious illness or accidents, assaults, or any number of other traumatic events. While we all experience these difficult periods of life (sometimes very difficult), we generally find a way to get through them due to our resilience, which we can define simply as the ability to cope and to bounce back from stress and problems. The way that victims, spectators, care-givers, and resident responded to the Boston Marathon bombing is a high profile example of great resilience. We all experience stresses and trauma that can affect us individually and bring us to periods of worry, stress, and psychological pain. Getting beyond these problems involves resilience. Resilience does not mean avoided stress and adversity; it means have the ability to persevere and continue to function effectively despite failures, setbacks, and losses. This requires developing effective coping skills. People who are able to persist and continue to function at a high level in times of adversity generally have greater self-efficacy and less fear of failing.
Some people are more resilient than others, but resilience is not an innate trait that one is born with. It is a response that can be learned and nurtured, and there are some simple things that we can do to build our personal resilience. This brief module provides some insights and some evidence-based tips on how to build and nurture your resilience. These will not provide a way of avoiding the stresses and travails that are thrown in our path, but they will help you build the resilience to work through them to the other side.