What is resilience and how it can help us dealing with life?
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What is resilience?
The term is a word that can be adapted to several areas of knowledge: to engineers resilience is the intrinsic ability of a material to absorb the strength pushed against it, in biology it is the capacity of an organism to respond to a perturbation by recovering into the state it was before the damage occurred. The word resilience can be found also in psychology, meaning the ability to resist tragic and negative events.
Does resilience correspond to willpower?
Resilience is not willpower. Willpower is the motivation we rely on every day to achieve the aim, while resilience is the force that cheers ourselves up and helps us carry on when something wrong happens.
How can we develop our resilience?
We should consider an event the right way and benefit from it rather than let it demotivate us. Italian psychologist Pietro Trabucchi, in his book Resisto dunque sono, describes a useful procedure to improve resilience. He divides our capacity to deal with adversity into five parts.
1) Adversity. The purpose of resilience is to overcome failures, which can consist of failing a test or losing a beloved person.
2) Beliefs. We perceive and deal with reality through a filter of beliefs.
3) Consequences. Failure causes physical and psychological reactions that are filtered by what we believe in.
4) Discussion. The implementation of our resilience depends on the ability to call physical and psychological consequences into question and analyse them.
5) Effects. After becoming aware of our beliefs and resulting reactions we can consider a failure the right way and benefit from it.
To develop our resilience is to understand what we can learn from a tragic and negative event.
Milan, 26th November 2017