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Resilience, Wellbeing and their Importance.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back when faced with stressors. An essential skill to be able to survive in today’s climate. In a world full of ups and downs, changes and inconsistency – being able to bounce back when struck down is incredibly valuable.

But what exactly makes resilience and how can we develop it? The important question that we ask in this article – why is it so important?

Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”. Therefore, resilience is a skill that we are always developing as life, as we all know, is full of difficulties. Resilience can be developed when we face a challenge, when something difficult comes our way. Do we back down and stay defeated? Or do we stand up with everything that we have and tackle it head on? In that moment that we make that decision- we choose whether or not we’re going to develop resilience.

Gray (2018) suggests that in order to develop resilience we can try two things. He suggests that we should identify our stressors, and the things that deplete our energy and also identify the activities that help us to bounce back. In doing so we have things that we can do to help us build our resilience and also things that we know to avoid.

Resilience acts as a key trait for any character. It is so important in everyday life. As we are all aware of the instability of this world, resilience is essential to our survival. If, whenever a difficulty comes our way, we allow ourselves to be defeated, we will never survive. This is not saying that we cannot struggle. Of course, we’re not going to be able to get through every trial easily but developing our resilience is a key factor in getting through.

It is important to note the distinction between resilience and wellbeing. Though both are important they do fundamentally differ.

Wellbeing refers to our ability to cope capably with the stresses and tasks of everyday life, the idea of dealing with life consistently and content. Whereas, resilience is about tackling the highs and lows that come, and most essentially… rising when you fall.

Though they differ, working on our resilience and wellbeing can come hand in hand. It is important to not decide to place one or the other at higher importance. Working on our resilience can be an essential aspect to developing our wellbeing. When we are able to rise up from the challenges that we face, our general wellbeing improves. The things we do to improve our wellbeing and resilience can actually be the same. For example, meditation. Meditation can be used to develop a sense of mindfulness in us, and appreciation of the present moment. Therefore, it can be beneficial for both our general wellbeing and resilience.

Though we can use similar practices to develop the two, it is always important to pay heed to the distinction between the two. It is important to not allow our minds to become attuned to the idea that our wellbeing alone is enough, because when we focus on just developing contentment and consistent happiness, the challenges of life may throw us off course. It is important to not set unrealistic standards for life and remember that resilience is required as well as general positive wellbeing.

Be happy. But also remember that there will be times where you are not. That does not mean that all is lost. In those moments are when you are required to pull upon your strength and resilience.

Remember, that resilience is given to you already by your Lord. It is just a matter of bringing it out. What you’re seeking to find is already within you.

Zainab Shafan

Zainab is currently studying psychology at UCL. She was studying Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, however that did not work out so she took a year out to pursue other interests and gain experience. During this time she released her own book named 'Free to Go', available on amazon. She also set up her own blog: Zen Words. She also aimed to build a foundation for herself to develop skills and give back to the community; and the perfect opportunity arose with Inspirited Minds. The charity combines two disciplines very close to her heart (Islam and Psychology) and to be able to be involved through writing, a passion of hers, is a huge blessing. Reading the newsletters herself has been a continuous source of enlightenment and a means of catharsis; so, to be able to provide this for other people will be undoubtedly rewarding.


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