I have taught resilience to business execs and Army sergeants. And the same myths come up every time when I ask about their definition of resilience.
The reality is that resilient people experience most of the problems that non-resilient people experience. The major difference between a resilient and a non-resilient person is how quickly resilient people recover from failures and setbacks in their life.
If physical fitness is the speed with which you can recover from physical stress, resilience is the speed with which you can bounce back from psychological stress.
Resilient and truly happy people understand the meaning of “good enough”. They know when to stop and enjoy what they have achieved without being disappointed about how they can improve something even better. They use mindfulness as one of their strength to help them enjoy life as it is rather than be disappointed by the ideas that life can be even better sometime in the future.
One research study of POVs from Vietnam who were held captive for over 5 years (who did not develop PTSD) has listed the following 10 critical psychological elements and characteristics of resilience:
Update: Although not on the list, physical exercise can also help you develop psychological resilience. Physical exercise helps you improve your health, improve your brain functions, and develop the needed discipline to keep pushing forward when it hurts.
How many of these factors help YOU when going through a stressful time? We’d love to hear your thoughts…