Help me out - resilience

What is resilience?

Resilience means being able to adapt to and recover from tough or challenging situations. By learning to be resilient, we face new challenges more easily.

When something difficult happens to us (or our family or friends), it’s natural to feel upset, confused or stressed out. That doesn’t mean we’ve failed or are reacting in the wrong way. But being resilient helps us to accept these feelings and move forward through them.

You might have heard the phrase ‘being able to bounce back’.

Everybody has to face hard times sometimes, so life isn’t always about avoiding the bad stuff – it’s about learning to pick yourself up and carry on being the awesome person you are. There are always going to be challenges – it’s how you meet them and move through them that counts.

Why do we need resilience?

Being resilient can help us manage feelings of anxiety and uncertainty – and it’s a skill we can build up over time.

Having the strength to deal with difficult things can help build our confidence and self-esteem – especially when we look back on an experience and realise we should feel proud of ourselves for getting through it.

Being resilient can also mean we worry less about what might happen in the future and feel happier ‘in the moment’.

You don’t have to do it all on your own!

Being resilient doesn’t mean you have to be ‘tough’ all the time, or cope with difficult things alone.

In fact, sharing your thoughts and worries can be a really important part of overcoming challenges or obstacles.

It can take a lot of courage to recognise when you need help and ask for it – but doing just that can really help build your resilience, and it will show other people that it’s OK for them to do it too.

Sometimes being strong means being able to share your feelings, not hide them, and ask for help when you need to.

What can stop us being resilient?

Sometimes tough stuff just happens, and it’s not our fault. However, if we think there’s something wrong with us rather than just seeing challenge as something that happens, we are likely to not feel so resilient.

If we often hear or think negative things about ourselves, it can be difficult to stay positive and be able to ‘bounce back’.

Sometimes we forget to look back and realise how strong we are, and that we have dealt with difficult situations in the past.

There’s always going to be some struggle at some point, so we might as well learn how to meet that struggle in the best possible way – by finding support and being kind to ourselves.

How can you build your resilience?

Some people are naturally quite resilient, but for lots of others it can take time to build up the skills – everyone’s different.

Some things which can help you to be more resilient are –

  • Remembering that challenges aren’t things that “get in the way” of life, they are part of life.
  • Focusing on all your positive qualities and not forgetting them – especially when the going gets tough.
  • Thinking about other times when you have faced difficulties and remembering that you got through them, even if it was tough at the time.
  • Surrounding yourself with positive people who like you for you – not people who criticise or upset you.
  • Accepting that sometimes bad things happen and it’s OK to feel sad or down about them.
  • Talking about your struggles with people you trust, and asking for help and support when you need it.

Remember, you’re not in control of everything that happens to you, but you ARE in control of how you react.

For more information about organisations which offer advice and support, check out the Advice Helplines page.

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