Building Your Resilience Muscle – Part I of II

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Key Highlights

  • Resilience, an essential skill for healthy childhood development, also essential skill for adults
  • Tools to help build resilience in middle age

In Part One of this two-part series on developing resilience, we’ll look at the definition of resilience tools within the resiliency tool kit and qualities developed into middle age that give older people a leg-up on becoming resilient.

What Is Resilience?

Most psychologists define resilience as the ability to bounce back or adapt well in the face of adversity, trauma, threats, tragedy and/or significant sources of stress.  Such stressors can include workplace and/or financial stressors, upheavals in family and relationship problems, serious health problems, etc.

Of course, resiliency is a developmental skill to be taught, practiced and improved upon from our earliest childhoods through well into our adult lives

What Tools Are Elements of Resiliency Tool Kit?

The American Psychological Association lists the following seven “C” skills as essential skills for young, midlife and older adults to handle situations and stressors effectively throughout their lives:

  • Competence
  • Confidence
  • Connection
  • Character
  • Contribution
  • Coping
  • Control

Qualities of Middle Age May Give Older People Advantage When Developing Resilience

According to Adam Grant, management and psychology professor with Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and co-author with Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook, of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy, said, “There is a naturally learnable set of behaviors that contribute to resilience…those are the behaviors that we gravitate to more and more as we age.”

Why?  Older people have had more experience regulating their emotions.  They’ve also gained a wider perspective on their role in how the world works based upon their own life experiences plus a concern for future generations.

 

Thanks to the New York Times

 

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