How To Flourish Despite Adversity

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past year, it’s that adversity tests our resilience. The pandemic affected people very differently. While some people lost their jobs or even their businesses, other people simply shifted to working from home. On the other hand, everyone felt the pain of social isolation to some extent. But while some suffered anxiety, others took it all in stride. The question then arises — why are some people so resilient and others less so?

A resilient woman

Certainly the answer lies in the age-old debate about nature vs. nurture — some people are simply more resilient by nature, while others have been encouraged to be so. Whether you are by nature more or less resilient, there are ways to develop the attribute at any age.

In an article on the American Psychological Association’s website, the APA points out that “Being resilient doesn’t mean that a person won’t experience difficulty or distress. People who have suffered major adversity or trauma in their lives commonly experience emotional pain and stress. In fact, the road to resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional distress.” Experiencing emotional distress, then, does not have to be a hindrance to building resilience but can actually help.

That process can be learned. “Like building a muscle,” the APA advises, “increasing your resilience takes time and intentionality.” That involves four key components:

  • Building connections, along with prioritizing relationships and joining a group
  • Fostering wellness, accomplished in part by practicing mindfulness and avoiding negative outlets
  • Finding purpose, possibly by helping others and moving toward your goals
  • Embracing healthy thoughts, in part by accepting change and maintaining a hopeful outlook

Does that sound like a nice path to go down? Learn more from the full article here.