What it means to be resilient

While absentmindedly clicking through content online the other day I came across a TED Talk about resilience, from August last year, by Researcher Lucy Hone ‘3 secrets of resilient people‘. I wanted to share what I learned as I think it will be useful to so many people right now and it’s something you can start to apply to areas of your life immediately.

Hone not only discusses the findings of her research in this talk, but opens up about an incredibly painful event she has faced; explaining how applying her understanding of resilience to her own life has helped her cope with the horrendous loss she has experienced.

According to Hone’s research there are three strategies common amongst resilient people. Those who are particularly resilient:

  1. Accept that bad things happen. They understand that suffering is part of life, for all of us and there’s no way around this
  2. Are good at focusing their attention on the positives rather than the negatives, putting their energy towards the things they can change rather than the things they can’t
  3. Reflect on whether the things they are doing are ‘helping’ or ‘harming’ them – and this can be relevant in so many different scenarios. For instance if you’re trawling through negative comments on social media you may want to ask yourself “Is this helping or harming me?” or if you’re holding a grudge or regularly criticising yourself or others you may want to ask yourself the same question and change your behaviour accordingly.

An exercise that can help you build up your resilience is to spend a couple of minutes each day reflecting on what you’re grateful for. Hone’s research demonstrated (over a six month period), that those who found three things to be grateful for each day showed higher levels of  happiness and gratitude and lower levels of depression.

The good news is that the research indicates that we can learn resilience with practise; it’s a skill that can be developed using the strategies above so whether you’re concerned about your job, your holiday has been cancelled, your wedding’s had to be postponed – or perhaps you’ve lost a family member due to coronavirus now may be just the right time to start practising.











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