You have undoubtedly heard the famous expression, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Strong individuals face adversity head on, refusing to let it impede their forward progress. How do you rise to the challenge during times such as these? One way is to draw on your resilience to help you cope with life’s downturns.
Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. ¹ Resilient people have the requisite traits to rebound quickly from setbacks. Instead of using hardships as roadblocks, they use them as steppingstones to a more authentic journey.
While there’s nothing definitive regarding what’s required to be emotionally resilient, the following are some common traits resilient people possess:
They don’t let their hardships defeat them.
Resilient people find the strength to persevere during turbulent times. They have the courage to continue where others would quit.
They accept the situation.
Accepting adversity allows people to move forward and not expend energy on things that can’t be changed. Resilient people accept their battles and work to find the best way to deal with the situation.
They keep moving forward.
Being resilient allows people to draw from their strengths to keep moving forward. Resilient people use their adversity as a guide to a better life.
They stay present in the moment.
Resilient people don’t dwell on the past or fixate on the future. They focus on the situation at hand, giving it their full attention. By practicing mindfulness, they enhance their well-being and reduce stress.
They surround themselves with supportive people.
People who are resilient strive to associate with people who are uplifting, positive and supportive. They know who they can trust to lend a listening ear. They seek people who can provide comfort and encouragement during times of suffering.
They maintain a positive attitude.
Resilient people understand they have the power to change the narrative from negative to positive by how they interpret the situation. They have a positive mindset and can direct their feelings accordingly. They are not discouraged by their failures; instead, they frame them in a positive light.
They engage in healthy practices.
Resilient people recognize the importance of self-nurturing and take breaks when needed. Using activities like meditation, exercising, and taking nature walks, they nourish their soul when times get tough.
We all know people with resilient dispositions, ones who appear calm in the face of adversity. Many of us, however, don’t have the natural ability to recover from life’s challenges. The good news is building resilience is possible; people can learn the skills it takes to become more resilient.
There are various resources available to help you enhance your resiliency, ranging from customized training courses to online publications. One program, “Resilient Mind”, is offered by The Mayo Clinic and aims to teach stress management & mindful well-being. Their team believes, “You can develop resilience by learning to train your attention on more-positive aspects of your life. You use purposeful, trained attention to decrease negative thoughts in your mind and bring greater focus on the most meaningful aspect of an experience.” ²
This is a critical time in history – one that will affect every one of us in varying degrees of magnitude. How you cope with the stress and uncertainty of the times will play a significant role in your recovery. Now, more than ever, it’s time to take the steps necessary to fortify your resilience. It’s what will enable you to keep on going now that the going is tough.
 American Psychological Association. (February 1, 2020). Building your resilience.
 Mayo Clinic Resilient Mind. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.24alife.com/well-being-programs/mayo-clinic-resilient-mind/