Resilience is a relatively new focus area in research. The initial studies of resilience came from surveying individuals
following traumatic events and measuring the presence of emotional distress. Some trauma researchers have shifted
focus to examine how people cope with trauma and which traits buffer them against forming posttraumatic stress
symptoms. Researchers at the University of North Carolina have coined another term for resilience, “post traumatic
growth”, to describe the factors associated with how human beings can be positively changed and even flourish
resulting from their encounters following a traumatic event.
As the research community began focusing more on strengths, the concept of resilience have gained more attention.
At the University of Pennsylvania, Dr Martin Seligman, Director of the Center and a Professor of Psychology is known
for his work on optimism, learned helplessness, and resilience. This group seeks to identify which traits and skill sets
allow people to cope more effectively with a range of difficult traumatic life events not just psychological obstacles.
People can be resilient when facing life transitions, unexpected changes, or unfortunate circumstances. A person does
not have to face a trauma or dramatic event to experience stress or to possess resilience. Resilience can buffer the
stress of new procedures at work to dealing with the stress of chronic illness.
By developing strong personal resilience skills, people can equip themselves to respond to the pressures they may find
in their personal lives and in the workplace.
Turning Challenges Into SUCCESS
The American Psychological Association in their Road to Resilience Initiative defines
resilience as the process of good coping and adaptation in the face of a challenge,
trauma or significant sources of stress.
Each of us faces challenges and unexpected events in our lives. Some
are invigorating; some are devastating. The key is how well we are
able to cope with life’s surprises.
is our capacity to adjust to
changes and challenges in our life, as well as the ability to “spring back”
emotionally after dealing with a difficult and stressful time.
The American Psychological Association’s a Initiative identifies
to build resilience:
1. Make Connections
2. Avoid seeing crisis as insurmountable problems
3. Accept that change is a part of living
4. Move toward your goals
5. Take decisive actions
6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery
7. Nurture a positive view of yourself
8. Keep things in perspective
9. Maintain a hopeful outlook
10. Take care of yourself