Resilience: How to train your mental resilience

resilience resilience
Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / Wokandapix

Resilience describes the ability to cope with crises without suffering psychological damage. We will show you how you can strengthen your inner resilience in the face of health crises, climate catastrophe or other exceptional situations in life.

You probably know these people: resilient people who don’t let anything get them down. If something bad happens to them, they pick themselves up again shortly afterwards – they manage to stay calm in every difficult situation in life. According to psychologists, such people have resilience.

Resilience is the immune system of our soul

The term resilience originally comes from materials science: Flexible materials that return to their original shape after external influences are called resilient.

But when applied to people, the term means even more. Those who survive the adversities of life or particularly stressful times – such as dismissals, separations, time pressure at work or arguments in the family – are not only resilient; resilient people can even grow from crises.

What determines a person’s resilience?

Resilience is like an umbrella that protects our psyche against the adversities of life.
Resilience is like an umbrella that protects our psyche against the adversities of life.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / StockSnap)

Resilient people have certain characteristics that make up their psychological resilience. Psychological research has summarized these into six resilience factors:

  1. Acceptance: Resilient people can accept what has happened to them and see problems and crises as a part of life.

  2. Optimism: “Everything will turn out well” – this is more or less the optimistic thought of a resilient person. Thinking positively makes people confident and resilient.

  3. Self-efficacy: Belief in one’s own abilities and skills is an important cornerstone of psychological resilience. Resilient people are confident that they can handle and solve crises and problems independently.

  4. Personal responsibility: Resilient people are willing to take responsibility for their lives instead of seeing themselves as victims of circumstances. They strive to solve any problems themselves, even if they did not cause them.

  5. Network orientation: Friendships give strength in times of crisis. Resilient people build social relationships and openly accept support and help in difficult times.

  6. Solution orientation: Every crisis usually reveals ways that help us to emerge stronger and learn something from it. Resilient people focus on solutions and try to implement them.

The foundations of resilience are laid in the early years of childhood and explain why certain people are more resilient than others. However, it is possible to actively work on your own resilience as an adult.

How to train your own resilience

Resilience is like a muscle that can be trained. Building on the six resilience factors, we give you three practical tips with which you can strengthen your resilience.

1. Accept that life means change and deal with crises with confidence

Mindfulness promotes acceptance and confidence - important pillars for one's own resilience.
Mindfulness promotes acceptance and confidence – important pillars for one’s own resilience.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / jplenio)

Accept the fact that life is an up and down. Mindfulness training is a way to build acceptance. If you are mindful, you can survive crises without sinking into a whirlpool of negative thoughts and feelings. In addition, an accepting attitude promotes a positive and confident attitude towards life and thus your optimism.

To strengthen your resilience, you can, for example, start meditating regularly.

Here are some tips: Learning meditation: tips for beginners

2. Trust in your abilities

A success diary helps you recognize your own abilities and thus increases resilience.
A success diary helps you recognize your own abilities and thus increases resilience.
(Photo: CC0 / pixabay / picjumbo_com)

Especially in difficult times, you should be aware of your strengths. This stabilizes your self-esteem and helps you to remain confident. Think about how you have overcome crises in the past. Do you tend to see yourself in a negative light? Do you easily forget what you have already achieved?

Start writing a success journal.

Every evening, write down what you did well that day. If you are in danger of forgetting your own skills, you can read in this diary what you have already achieved. In times of crisis, reflect on your abilities. Then you can consciously decide what options you have to solve problems. In this way, you take responsibility for your life and train your resilience.

3. Look for ways to solve your problems and accept help

Solve problems together with friends.
Solve problems together with friends.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / Anemone123)

Resilience also means not giving up so quickly. Think about how people you perceive as resilient would deal with a challenging situation. Take your time and try to find as many solutions to your problem as possible. Write them all down.

Choose a solution and then decide to implement it.

In addition, don’t be afraid to ask friends for support in difficult times. Perhaps one of them has been in a similar situation. Confide in your partner or family and accept the help offered. In very serious cases of self-doubt or imposter syndrome, professional help may be the solution for you. If you feel like you’re stuck, psychotherapy could help.

You don’t have to solve every problem alone.

Resilience means resistance, not hardening

Some people think that the key to resilience is to toughen up. Take on more work, persevere longer, keep a low profile or solve every problem on your own. That’s a fallacy. It doesn’t make us more resilient, but instead leads to overexertion. The path to resilience is different: recovery.

The secret is to use your own psychological resources sustainably. Less workload, less pressure to succeed, more breaks and being able to say “no” to an additional task every now and then.

Muscles need rest to grow. In order to be prepared for difficult times, it is important how we enjoy the good times in our lives and how we keep ourselves mentally healthy.

Take your time and enjoy the beautiful moments in your life.

Whether it’s a good meal, time with your friends or a beautiful sunset, you can draw on these memories when things aren’t going so well. At the same time, they serve as an inner relaxation.

Conclusion: Active problem solving and regular rest promote resilience

Every problem and every crisis in your life offers you the chance to grow and learn. Take this opportunity and solve your problems on your own. This gives you strength and self-confidence and strengthens your resilience. At the same time, treat yourself sustainably: use times without crises to recover and enjoy life at its best.

Read more on Techzle\.com:

  • Burnout symptoms: You should take these signs seriously
  • Reduce stress: 7 tips to slow down your life
  • Self-motivation: how to overcome your inner demons

Edited by Paula Boslau

** marked with ** or orange underlined Links to sources are partly affiliate links: If you buy here, you are actively supporting Techzle\.com, because we then receive a small part of the sales proceeds. .

(This article first appeared on November 4, 2020, 3:30 p.m. It has been updated by our editorial team.)

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