Resiliency: How to Stay Strong When Times Are Tough

Resiliency. It’s a term that describes the ability to recover from difficulties, unjust or unfortunate circumstances. Traumatic experiences in particular can be difficult to process and overcome. Resiliency can greatly impact a person's overall success in establishing a healthy life and perspective. There are 5 pillars of resilience that can help when times are tough: 


Self-awareness includes conscious recognition of one’s own strengths, weaknesses, emotions and motivations. Being self aware can help an individual understand where they can personally improve, how their behaviors or actions affect others, what they’re good at, and what actions they can implement to create positive change. 


Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in any given situation. It’s paying close attention to a task at hand and valuing it for what it is. It’s not being overly reactive or overwhelmed by events, and having the ability to take action when the temptation to retract is at hand. Thoughts and emotions can be difficult to regulate, causing confusion. Mindfulness offers reflection and presence to determine the truth. 


Self-care is a form of resilience. Taking action to maintain or improve health may appear selfish, but it’s the results of renewed vitality, confidence and energy that offers benefits. Self-care is unique to each individual, and even small self-care moments prove valuable such as eating healthy or exercising regularly. Other forms of self-care could be setting time boundaries from family or friends to apply to a new job opportunity, to read, or learn something new. When the work is done from a place of energy rather than reluctance, this is when self-care is taking place in work.

Trusting Relationships

Trusting relationships are an important part of resilience. Trusting relationships can come from family, friends, community or organizations. Positivity and mutual support that comes from trusting relationships decreases the brain's amygdala activity, that's the part of the brain best known for the fight or flight response, and reduces fear. Research proves evidence that people who feel trusted become more trustworthy as result of increased oxytocin, the hormone responsible for bonding, into the brain (1).


Lastly, holding a sense of purpose helps direct thoughts toward others and toward experiences. Purpose includes having a goal or something greater than the self to lend attention. The more assuredness of the central aim, the more vitality one can have toward their sense of purpose. 






(1) Watson, S. W. (2021, July 20). Oxytocin: The love hormone. Healthharvard.Edu. Retrieved June 10, 2022, from