It was my coworker in office,who joined 2 year after me in one designation down.He achieved his education from a better place than mine,was very involved in work like me and soon became more popular to my boss (whose work I used to worship those days).I sensed a serge of fear was crawling inside me.The fear was he will be considered as a better option to my boss.Yes competition is the word.I took him as a competition, however I decided to take the highway and believed in the technique to ‘achieve resilience’. I kept helping him with the material ,I thought will be useful for his work (while auto suggesting myself I do not need to get insecure).He happened to not continue that job for long.Many years later when I came across him, he introduced me to another colleague as an extraordinarily helpful coworker.Well, it was not a thoughtful attempt but today when I look back at my actions and how it helped me to come in peace with my insecurity,I feel like it was a coping mechanism for me.By showing someone that I am not insecure and making myself forcefully slap the fear, I was actually being resilient.Where from I achieve resilience at that time I had no clue,but today well I can give you some insight into the topic from my research.
What is resilience? If ask Google the definition it will provide are many, however the one line that I liked was
‘The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness’
Difficulty which can be a- physical disability, a mental state, a disaster on earth that leaves people shocked or anything which make life harder in any way can overcome by only being resilient
Resilience is quite a scientific concept,it helps to alleviate worry ,depression or stress. It has many aspects –
Physical soundness is a plus-
Physical ‘toughening’ and ‘tempering’ is a form of resilience. Physically healthy person withstand stress for longer time.
The person who is active and sound has more courage and strength to fight stress. A physically tough person has a stable blood pressure, controlled sugar level these elements have alliances with relieving stress or anxiety.
Exercising can help to feel more physically active and relieve stress. It also increases sleep, good sleep equip human to be more resilient. Exercise improves neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which improve health of brain.
In psychological resilience it is encouraged to view-situations as challenges, not threats.
Appraisal of a situation matters-
How a person appraisal a situation has direct effect on his brain and mind.If viewed a situation as threat brain signal fear and pituitary ,adrenal glands releases stress hormone. It raises blood pressure and blood glucose.
Challenge Vs Threat
If a person perceive a situation as challenge than he can use brain efficiently to solve the problem. His ability to think functions better than a stressed person. He even feel rejuvenated as he can see hope in the end of winning a challenge unlike an afraid person.
Sufficient outer supports
To be resilient while it is important to feel encouraged and be physically healthy while facing a problem, external support like–money, place to live, education, friend and family’s co operation, social acceptance can also help a lot to thrive.
If social ,financial support stays with a person, than resilience become easier.
Looking for solution by getting involved
Luthar (2006) states that, “Resilience is defined as a phenomenon or process reflecting relatively positive adaptation despite experiences of significant adversity or trauma” In other words, One cannot claim to achieve resilience in absence of significant stressor. Rejection of a traumatized event or withdrawal from an existing stress will only make coping with the stress tougher. Resilience is not a static phenomenon it is more of a situation specific game changer.
One technique of survival will not be adequate in all situations. A person has to get involved to understand the complexity of the situation and then act on it.
Early childhood is the base–
Resilience is different in different ages. It get stronger with age and learning, though the base formed at early childhood.
Kim-Cohen and colleagues (2004) using data from the Environmental Risk Longitudinal Twin Study (1,116 twins born to low socioeconomic status families) found cognitive and behavioral resilience are influenced by both genetic factors, like temperament or personality; and environmental factors like mother’s care and parenting style. He also found that even genetic components can be tailored by the environment.
Importance of learning continues after childhood-
In adults resilience is viewed as an aspect that helps someone to function normally while dealing with difficulties of a traumatic event or series of event.
In adolescence resilience is conceptualized both as a learning and development process and ability to cope with traumatic events.
Brain changing factor is learning
In other words learning is a key component of resilience. In last decade it has been established that our brain can changes shape, this shaping is resourced by learning.
More we experience more we learn. More we learn easier it becomes for us to respond in certain way in certain situation. New connection grows between brain cells. Learning also heal the damages made by stress like hypocampus.
Jerry L. Patterson and Paul Kelleher in their book Resilient School Leaders has shown a dimension of resilience which is pretty easy to consume and helpful to understand how to become more resilient.
These dimensions from “comprehensive resilience framework”: Shows resilience is not a one line definition. Moreover it is an ongoing process that results from a cause-and-effect chain reaction of something adverse happening to someone and reacting back to it.
Also it shows power of having stronger resilience depends on personal capacity and optimism. One who did not have a supportive childhood can still develop resilience in adulthood through attitude towards life, learning and experiences.
On a finishing note I won’t stretch more on how to be more resilient, the subject how to achieve resilience has been pretty much covered by now I believe, just want to refer to a quote from the web that simplifies the whole topic-“Resilience isn’t a single skill. It’s a variety of skills and coping mechanisms. To bounce back from bumps in the road as well as failures, you should focus on emphasizing the positive.”