What Is Resilience?
Coping With Crisis
By Kendra Cherry, About.com Guide
Image by Rachel Gilmore (www.sxc.hu)
Dealing with change or loss isan inevitable part of life. At some point, everyone experiences varying degrees of setbacks. Some of these challenges might be relatively minor (not getting into a class you really wanted to take),while others are disastrous on a much larger scale (hurricanes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks). How we deal with these problems can play a major role in not only the outcome, but also the long-termpsychological consequences.
What Is Resilience?
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to remain calm in the face of disaster, while others seem to fall apart? People that are able to keeptheir cool have what psychologists call resilience, or an ability to cope with problems and setbacks. Resilient people are able to utilize their skills and strengths to cope and recover from problems andchallenges, which may include job loss, financial problems, illness, natural disasters, medical emergencies, divorce or the death of a loved one.
Those who lack this resilience may instead becomeoverwhelmed by such experiences. They may dwell on problems and use unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with such challenges. Generally, these individuals are slower to recover from setbacks and mayexperience more psychological distress as a result.
Resilience does not eliminate stress or erase life's difficulties. Instead, it gives people the strength to tackle problems head on, overcomeadversity and move on with their lives. In the wake of traumas such as the 9/11 attacks and the Hurricane Katrina disaster, many individuals demonstrated the behaviors that typify resilience. Even in theface of events that seem utterly unimaginable, people are able to marshal the strength to not just survive, but to prosper.
Some individuals come by these abilities naturally, with personality...