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Mental resilience

Mental resilience is how you deal with and recover from challenging life events. Being mentally resilient gives you the strength to get through tough times.

Mental resilience explained

What is mental resilience?

Resilience is your ability to cope with any difficult events and situations that happen in your life, and how you go about recovering from them.

Everyone is born with a certain amount of personal resilience, and the level of resilience you have will vary depending on your age, your gender and what’s happened to you. Over the course of your life your mental resilience will change – and the good news is that you can easily take steps to increase it yourself.

There are a number of simple ways you can go about building resilience, and we’ve detailed a few techniques that should help you in developing resilience. 

boy closing eyes on seat

How to build mental resilience

Try and be positive

While it’s very easy to focus on the worst aspects of any situation, it’s not good for building your personal resilience. Even the worst possible situations have an upside so, while it may be difficult when something bad is happening, try and think of one kind of benefit you’ll be getting out of it. You may want to think about things such as what you can learn from your experience, what this situation has helped you find out about someone, or what it’s helped you find out about yourself.

Appreciate your strength

When you’re going through something difficult, it’s easy to forget how strong you are. Try and remember other times in your life when you’ve got through something challenging. Remember how strong you were to get through those circumstances, and take heart from the fact that you know you have the strength to get through whatever you’re going through now. 

Remind yourself you always have a choice

Whatever you’re going through, you have a choice as to how you react to it. It may not feel like it, but it’s completely up to you whether you let your situation defeat you, or whether you choose to have the strength to get through it. It doesn’t make you weak if you decide you don’t have the strength at the moment, but remembering that you always have a choice is a great was to remind yourself that you have power in any situation, and it’s great for building personal resilience. 

Don’t hold a grudge

Holding a grudge isn’t good for your resilience – in fact someone once said that holding on to a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. If you keep focussing on an incident where someone has angered you or done you wrong, you’ll stay angry and not be able to move beyond it. Holding a grudge will end up affecting you negatively, because you’ll end up thinking lots of negative thoughts. So instead it’s much better to put your grudge behind you and practice thinking positively instead – you’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel when you let those bad feelings go!         

Take a step back

While an issue, situation or argument may feel very immediate and intense the moment it happens, it’s really helpful to ask yourself how you will feel about the thing that’s upsetting you in a week, a month or a year? Thinking this way about events and issues that affect you will help you have some perspective about how much you should let them bother you.