What Is Psychological Resilience?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2019
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Psychological resilience is a term describing someone’s inner capacity to tolerate the daily difficulties of life. Sometimes this can mean an ability to handle painful traumas, and it could also be used to describe the ability to deal with more common things like stress or self doubt. People without very much psychological resilience have a tendency to react very forcefully to the things that happen to them, while those who have very strong inner resilience tend to take things much more in stride, bouncing back from dreaded occurrences with surprising ease. Some experts have studied this kind of inner strength because they believe it is for mental health, and some believe it is something people learn rather than a natural talent.

People with strong psychological resilience aren’t necessarily entirely unaffected by the things that happen to them. In fact, some of them may react very easily to negative events, but they generally react in a way that helps them deal with things and move forward. That may be a process of getting any pain out of their system right away, so that they can move on, or it might involve a different way of looking at events that lets them take a positive attitude afterwards. Studies have shown that many different factors influence a person’s ability to deal with life’s stressful occurrences.


Many experts think that psychological resilience is something that is learned, and a person’s capacity may have a lot to do with how the individual is raised during childhood. For example, some studies have shown that culture can have a big impact on a person’s psychological resilience, and many experts believe that an individual’s family life growing up may also have an impact. Some people never learn very many coping strategies during childhood, and they may have outlooks that cripple their ability to cope with disaster, while others learn valuable tricks that give them a great advantage. There is a lot of evidence that it’s possible to teach these things to people later in life as well, which might help them become better able to deal with bumps and bends in the road.

Some experts think that one of the most crucial aspects of psychological resilience is a social support structure. People who are surrounded by others to help them deal with things tend to feel less stress when faced with difficulty, partly because they know they’re part of a team and it’s likely that everybody will help each other out when things turn sour. If someone is isolated, he or she may not have nearly as much confidence, which can make stress and pain much harder to cope with.



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