Resilience: Meaning & Significance

Just three years before the initial Harry Potter novel was purchased, J.K. Rowling was divorcéed, reliant on state assistance, and battling to provide for her family. Before being purchased by publisher Bloomsbury, the book was declined numerous times. Currently, she and her works are a worldwide sensation. Lionel Messi, at age 11, was identified as having a growth hormone deficit. His parents could not afford healthcare, but FC Barcelona's sporting director learned of their hardship and set up a try-out. Messi joined the squad and generated the revenue necessary to pay for his medical care. What kept them going?

Meaning of Resilience

Resilience is the practice and result of solving critical or demanding situations, particularly via cognitive, affective, and behavioral plasticity and adaptation to inner and outer obstacles. How well individuals acclimatize to adversity is contingent on a variety of elements, the most important of which are

  • The perspectives and interactions that people have with the surroundings.

  • The extent to which and the caliber of social infrastructure.

  • Certain coping mechanisms.

According to behavioral sciences, the assets and abilities linked to more successful adjustment (i.e., enhanced resilience) can be developed and exercised. It is crucial to remember that developing our expertise to become resilient over the term is necessary. We will probably encounter hurdles along the path; adaptive capacity requires patience, endurance, and assistance from others. It depends on internal factors, such as self-expression, esteem, and external forces. Being resilient involves not only dealing with stress, mental anguish, and pain but also experiencing them.

Resilience Theory: What Is It?

Setbacks of many types confront individuals in their lives. Individual catastrophes might include illness, the loss of a beloved, assault, etc. Terrible news stories like terrorist attacks, massacres, battles, etc., are prevalent issues. We must know how to deal with it and forge through tough times. According to resilience theory, it is a variable quality (we can develop our capacity to practice resilience). Moreover, it is only sometimes present; for example, we might show much persistence when dealing with one issue but have more difficulty being robust when dealing with another adversity.

People who are flexible, adaptable, and persistent can increase their resilience by altering specific attitudes and habits. According to research, students do better when they feel that cognitive and interpersonal skills can be taught and strengthened. They also become more resilient, responding to hardship with less strain and performing better overall. These five principles apply to resilience

  • Gratitude

  • Compassion

  • Acceptance

  • Meaning

  • Forgiveness

The Principal Elements That Foster Resilience

Building resilience is a complicated and individual process. There is no one-size-fits-all method for increasing resilience; rather, it necessitates the use of internal assets and external ones. There needs to be a more straightforward task list for navigating catastrophe; resilience results from various elements working together. In a prior longitudinal study, traits including familial cohesion, a positive self-perception, and strong interpersonal relationships, which were beneficial for teenagers at risk for depression, also contributed to greater resilience in young adults. Other elements that support resilience, as per resilience theory, involve

Social Assistance

According to studies, peer support networks—which might have one's personal or wider family, neighborhood, acquaintances, and organizations—help one develop resilience in the face of adversity.


While suffering, one might avoid feeling inadequate if they positively perceive themselves and have faith in their abilities. Self-esteem and resiliency were discovered to be closely associated.

Coping Abilities

A person who needs to work through difficulties and conquer them gains empowerment from having adaptive and problem-solving abilities. According to research, productive coping strategies (such as optimism and sharing) might support resilience more than ineffective ones.

Communication Abilities

The ability to speak concisely and persuasively enables one to ask for assistance, collaborate, and intervene. According to research, those who can communicate with others, demonstrate empathy for them, and foster their assurance and faith are more likely to be resilient.

Emotional Control

The ability to control highly debilitating emotions (or to seek support to fight with them) aids in maintaining concentration when facing difficulty and has been associated with increased resilience.

What Does Science Say About the Importance of Resilience?

Resilient people use their assets, talents, and competencies to accomplish things and recover from failures. People with low levels of resilience are far more prone to undergo overwhelming or helpless feelings and turn to negative coping mechanisms. People with resilience, effective coping strategies, and emotional maturity are more likely to have greater overall well-being than those with lower resilience. They are also more likely to experience better life satisfaction. According to a study on 1,032 college students in the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental fortitude was associated with lower stress and a more favorable general life satisfaction. However, another found that those who had contemplated suicide had resilience scale ratings that were much lower than those who had not ever considered suicide.

Although the term "resilience" is frequently used to refer to general adaptation and endurance, it may also be classified into other sorts or categories

Psychological Resilience

Psychological resilience is the capacity to cognitively handle or adjust to hardships, trauma, and ambiguity. "Mental fortitude" is another name for it. Psychologically resilient people learn coping mechanisms and abilities to remain composed and on task throughout a problem and recover without suffering anguish or worry over the long run.

Emotional Resilience

Everybody handles stress and suffering differently on an emotional level. In certain people, a circumstance can bring on a wave of emotions but not so for others. Emotionally strong people are aware of their feelings and their motivations. Even in times of crisis, they maintain a sense of pragmatic enthusiasm and proactively employ both inner and outside resources. They are competent at effectively controlling both their feelings and outside stimuli.

Physical Resilience

It describes the body's capacity to adjust to new situations, keep its endurance and agility, and recuperate rapidly and effectively. It refers to an individual's ability to carry out daily activities and bounce back after accidents, illnesses, and other physical challenges. Research indicates that physical resilience is crucial to good aging as people deal with physiological pressures and health complications. Numerous social connections, various healthy living options, adequate recovery and rest time, and enjoyment of fun activities are crucial in determining physical resilience.

Community Resilience

The capacity of a community to react to and rebound from challenging circumstances, like natural calamities, violent crimes, economic difficulties, and other issues that affect the community in its entirety, is called community resilience. Examples of communities that have recovered from adversity comprise New York City following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Newtown, Connecticut, following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, etc.


Resilience is a key characteristic that individuals must possess to safeguard themselves from all sorts of physical, mental, and social harm just out in the external and internal world waiting to pounce on their prey. So, what if, whenever we examined a situation, we used a perspective that encouraged development and adherence to our objectives rather than taking offense more privately? Acknowledging the issue, our assumptions about it, the effects of those, and the disconnect between our assumptions and the issue itself are likely to re-energize us and make us more open to accepting the next endeavor. Although we become tougher and more tolerant, life does not get any simpler or more merciful. Thus, building resiliency is not an option but should be a conscious decision.

Updated on: 05-Jan-2023


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