This is the first in a six part series focusing on strategies for developing resilience.
In my recent 2013 mental health topics survey, the topic that was overwhelmingly voted as most helpful, relevant and interesting was “How to stop depression from coming back – strategies for resilience.”
I’ll release a full report on the survey next week, but I wanted to touch briefly on what resilience is and why it is such a crucial part of dealing with depression and helping us thrive.
What Is Resilience?
In PsychCentral’s informative article on the matter, resilience is defined as a set of assumptions or attitude individuals have about themselves that influence their behaviours and the skills they develop. Resilience is manifested as a mindset.
Delving further into the nature of resilience, Andrew Zolli, author of Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back, identified two core aspects of resilience during an interview with Harvard Business Review:
- the ability to maintain core purpose; and
- the ability to restore core purpose in the face of a disruption.
In other words, rather than try and predict the future, we develop resilience so that, whatever comes our way, we do not deviate from our core purpose and are armed with the tools and strategies to deal with the unexpected ‘black swans’ in life.
What Does Resilience Actually Do?
In practical terms, resilience will determine how you deal with depression – whether it drags you down into the depths of despair or whether you are able to maintain control and quickly take action to combat the symptoms and prevent depression from taking control of your life. And if you’re on top and thriving, resilience helps you spot the warning signs and prevent molehills becoming mountains.
Why Is Resilience Important?
Because no matter who you are, resilience is a mindset and attitude that is beneficial to leading a healthy and fulfilled life.
Since resilience is manifested as a mindset, is therefore something that you can cultivate! This means you will be able to respond to identify and respond to depression and its symptoms quickly and vigorously, whatever your position on the moodometer. In fact, it is just as important to be resilient when you are a 10 “thriving” as it is when you are a 0 “dying”.
How Do You Develop Resilience?
This is something we will look at in more detail over a series of blog posts, including:
- The signs of a resilient mindset;
- What core purpose is;
- How to determine your core purpose;
- An overview of strategies to develop and maintain your core purpose; and
- How to deal with unexpected setbacks along the way.