How to Build Resilience, One Day at a TimeNone By Lesley Lyle
Why are some people better able to bounce back and recover from unpleasant or negative experiences than others? You may know people who always seem to be cheerful, even though their lives are challenging; conversely, you may know some who seem unable to cope with even the smallest of problems. The secret power of the former group? Resilience.
The Perception Creates the Reality
Resilience researcher George Bonanno explains that we need to experience adversity in order to discover whether we are resilient or not. But it's how we conceptualize an event that determines whether we consider it to be traumatic or not. In other words, what happens is not as significant as the meaning we attribute to it and what we subsequently think, feel, and do.
It is inevitable that we will face difficult and challenging times; our resilience will determine how well we cope and recover. However, we can use the minor annoyances, irritations, and frustrations that we are likely to face more regularly to increase our resilience.
Perhaps you are frequently upset and disturbed by things outside your control, such as:
• The weather
• Traffic jams
• Late buses or trains
• Neighbors having a late-night party
• Rude or unfriendly people
If so, know that you can choose to treat these mostly trivial events as "learning opportunities" that allow you to practice regulating your emotions to increase your resilience. Ann Masten has been studying the science of resilience for almost 40 years. She explains that resilience is not an extraordinary process, but &qu