In life, we may encounter many things that we do not expect. For example; We may face many events in life such as a failure in an exam we studied, forgetting what we say during a presentation, death of a loved one, epidemics or earthquakes. While the effects of each life can vary from person to person, the reactions of people to these events may also differ. This is where psychological resilience comes into play.
Rather people who do not face any difficult situation or being in a situation they have not experienced before, we can call the process of adapting well against these stressful life events faced by the person as “psychological resilience”. In general psychological resilience is a protective shield and coping system for individuals, families, and society. Individuals with high psychological resilience adapt better than other people in the face of stressful life events and their physical and psychological negative effects are less.
The recent coronavirus outbreak in our country and around the world is a current example that seriously threatens our health and upset our daily routines. It is normal for both adults and children to react to grief, fear, anxiety, and worry in the face of difficult life events. In other words, living and accepting the negative emotions of abnormal or stressful life events is a healthy response.
It is important to focus on personal resources and develop them for psychological resilience.
What are these resources and what can we do?
1- Wellbeing / Wellness
It can be defined as the person’s well-being in terms of both physical and mental health. In this process, exercising for physical and mental health (relaxation and breathing exercises) is one of the factors that strengthen the person’s fitness and strengthen his psychological well-being. ‘Being in the Moment and Mindfulness exercises’ are one of the exercises that benefits the well-being and supports the well-being of the person. At the same time, research shows that religious experiences also contribute to the person’s hope-building process and fitness. As another activity, you can try to keep ‘Thanksgiving Diary’ in this process: The person is asked to write 3 different things that they will be thankful for every day. In this process, it is seen that it provides awareness of what is happening in a person’s life and for what he is thankful for while contributing to the person’s well-being.
2- Embrace Your Healthy Thoughts
What we feel, think and do can be resources for us, as long as they are functional. How do we feel, what do we think and what do we do against the difficulties we are experiencing? It may be helpful to start by creating a list of them. Then, how useful we think, feel and do about the problems we encounter, may be the second step to examine them. It is important for us to write the pros and cons of what we do, think and feel in this process in a notebook, and to realize those that are dysfunctional and useless. We can focus on how we can increase our thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are functional. In this way, we can expand our perspective with realistic thoughts and alternative explanations, as well as contribute to our well-being and psychological resilience.
3- Get Information
When we are at risk of an epidemic disease, the first step we need to take for ourselves and our relatives is to get information about the coronavirus from the right sources. Considering that the information in the media may not be all correct, you should listen to the explanations of competent people on the subject and comply with these warnings by taking into account what needs to be done to protect against coronavirus risk!
4- Social Support Matters
Social support; The relationship of the person with the people around them (family, friends, spouse and children etc.) is one of the most important sources for psychological resilience, and it is shown by researches that it is positive for both physical and mental health. Rather than removing yourself from the social environment, you can try to strengthen relationships through messaging, video chat, family gatherings at home, small games and events! In this process, you can also get mental health support online. Remember, you are not alone!
Change is part of our lives. Some of our goals and ideals may no longer be available for us, or we may have to try different ways, or change things. Accepting the events we experience in this process can help us focus on what we can do as an alternative. It may be good to focus on the idea of how you can evaluate this change rather than getting stuck at some point. In this way, you can use the resources better and find new alternatives!