When psychologists talk about resilience, they often talk about it being a process where someone who is facing adversity, trauma or stress is able to not only adapt well or “bounce back”, but to grow and become more confident and empowered.
There is a wealth of information on resilience and how it can be learned, with various websites, courses and books available. The American Psychological Association identifies five key areas to focus on to build resilience.1
1. Build your connections
You might like to connect with supportive and caring friends and family members, reach out to healthcare professionals such as your MS nurse, GP or a psychologist, or join a support group for people living with MS.
2. Encourage wellness
It’s important to ensure you are eating well, sleeping well, reducing alcohol consumption, and getting regular exercise. Along with mindfulness, these practices can not only help to build resilience but can help to maintain good physical and mental health.
3. Find purpose
Having goals, building skills and finding ways to help others can provide you with a sense of purpose and help you to feel stronger and more appreciative of life.
4. Embrace healthy thoughts
It is important to try to keep things in perspective, as this can really impact how you feel. Try to notice when you are having irrational thoughts, are catastrophising or feel overwhelmed. Accepting change, and the things that are out of your control, is an important part of your journey in resilience, as is identifying what areas or things you have control over and can change.
5. Seek help
There may be times when you feel you are stuck and are not making progress or overcoming challenges. Your GP, MS nurse or neurologist can provide some support, or can put you in contact with a mental health professional such as a psychologist.
Check out this article on how to build resilience from the American Psychological Association