Build Your Inner Strength
Resilience can be learned—here’s how.
You got laid off. The person you thought you were going to marry had a different plan. A beloved pet went to the big, beautiful dog run in the sky. Resilience is the ability to gather yourself together after a rough setback like one of these (or a more minor but still upsetting glitch) and move forward. Whether that means brainstorming new ideas after a job lead fails to pan out or opening
yourself up to love again after losing your long-term partner, resilience doesn’t mean you don’t feel the hurt— it means you can find a way to process it and come back stronger than ever.
Resilience isn’t something we’re born with, and it’s not something we’re necessarily taught by our parents (though the support we have during rough childhood events appears to influence how we recover from negative experiences
later). Rather, resilience is a set of coping mechanisms we develop over time, and research in positive psychology has found that this quality is determined in part by how we take care of ourselves, the people we surround ourselves with, and what we do to find meaning and purpose in our lives. In fact, we have a lot of control over how resilient we are—roughly 40% of our overall happiness is thought to derive
not from our circumstances or genes, but from our own actions. Of course, it’s one thing to bounce back when your meticulously planned barbecue is rained out and another to find happiness after your heart has been shattered. But the techniques involved are the same. Turn the page to learn how to be your strongest, most resilient self, no matter what you’re dealing with.