RESILIENCE - Chapter 3


Regardless of the type of resilience, there are certain components that make up all types of resilience. These components make resilient thinking meaningful and impactful in your life. Without these components, it can be difficult to become resilient or to experience the benefits of resilience. Let's look at the four components of resilience: connection, wellness, healthy thinking, and meaning. Connection Connection is your ability to connect with your family members, friends, and community. It is a common misconception that resilient people do not need help from others, but this misconception is completely false. In contrast, the most resilient people have some of the strongest connections around. The reason that connection is important for resilience is that it allows you to have a support system whenever you fail. Without having anyone to talk to or help you, you can easily feel overwhelmed by your life and have nowhere to turn to whenever you fail. Wellness Wellness is the active process of becoming more aware and making choices to become healthy and living a fulfilling life. Although wellness includes being physically fit and healthy, it is intimately related to emotional and mental change and growth as well. It is important to have wellness in order to live a high-quality life. Wellness relates to your physical health, mental health, emotional health, and personal growth. Wellness matters for resilience since the point of resilience is to make you happier and healthier over time: resilience contributes to your wellness, and your wellness contributes to your resilience. As you become more resilient, your wellness increases. At the same time, as you focus more on your wellness, your resilience is more likely to increase as well. Without wellness, you are unlikely to become resilient now or in the future. Healthy Thinking Healthy thinking is your ability to think realistically, flexibly, and creatively. For you to think healthily, you must be able to accurately interpret a situation, strategize how you're going to handle it, and effectively execute your strategy. More so, healthy thinking is about learning from your mistakes and incorporating them into your new plans, goals, and strategies. Resilience depends heavily on healthy thinking. If you cannot think healthily, you will not be able to realistically interpret or effectively handle stressful situations. Instead, you will likely misinterpret the situation and think of poor ways to handle your stress or emotions. If you think healthily, though, resilience comes much easier. The reason for this is that healthy thinking will allow you to accurately understand a situation, which will then allow you to properly respond to it. Meaning Meaning is the ability to connect events, ideas, and feelings into a greater purpose of life. Meaning is what allows your life, actions, and ideas to feel impactful and meaningful in the world around you. If you do not have meaning, it is easy to feel dragged down by life's adversities. Resilience depends highly on meaning. The reason for this is that meaning gives motivation for resilience. It allows resilience to have a purpose, goal, and context. The Components Of Resilience In A Real-Life Example Andrea has been married to Jeremy for 20 years, but they have decided that it is time to get a divorce. In order to get through this divorce, Andrea needs resilience so that she can come back stronger than before. More specifically, her resilience strategy must incorporate connection, wellness, healthy thinking, and meaning. Connection: Now that she is single, Andrea feels lonely and isolated. To bounce back from these feelings, she needs to strengthen her connections with her family members and loved ones. She could spend extra time with her parents, go to the gym with a friend, or go to a Community Center to make new friends over shared interests or hobbies. Strengthening her connections allows her to feel loved and appreciated again. Wellness: Like most divorcees, Andrea feels insecure, stuck, and unsure. To be resilient, she needs to focus on her wellness. Wellness includes developing healthy habits, being kind to herself, or going to a counselor. Focusing on her wellness allows her to improve her life and get the most out of this phase. Healthy Thinking: Andrea is beginning to question her competence in making life decisions. She feels like she married the wrong person, wasted her youth, and failed miserably. To bounce back, she needs to think healthily about her marriage and current state. She did not make a mistake, waste her youth, or fail. Instead, she and Jeremy changed, and it is now best to separate. Thinking healthily allows her to learn from her mistakes, grow, and not wallow. Meaning: Since her marriage failed, Andrea feels disconnected from life and herself; she doesn’t know who she is or what she wants. Andrea should actively try to find a way to connect meaning to her new life. Additionally, she should view the divorce itself as having meaning, such as giving her the opportunity to live her best life possible. Developing a new meaning creates importance and context for her new life. In this example, as well as any other situation you will face in life, it is important to combine all four components at the same time. You should not just focus on one over the other. Instead, you should have a holistic perspective on your resilience- a strategy that includes connection, wellness, healthy thinking, and meaning. If you only focus on one component, you will not become as resilient as you could. For example, if you only focus on your connections, you could still harbor unhealthy thoughts about your marriage and divorce. This will result in a number of unwanted consequences on your present and future, regardless of how strong your connections are. With this in mind, approach all of your adverse situations with the mentality of tackling them. You will tackle these situations by emphasizing your connections, wellness, thinking, and meaning.