How to build and boost your mental resilience

Sometimes, life can feel like you’re riding rollercoaster. You can’t control where you go, but you can learn to enjoy the ride. On a mental and emotional level, this is what resilience is.

There are the high-effort climbs, the heart-racing falls, and the peaceful stretches of straight rails in-between. In order to smoothly handle all of these stages, mental resilience is key.

In this week’s post, discover what resilience means from a psychological perspective, the benefits of building good mental resilience, examples of resilience at play, and how to build your own.


What is resilience?

Resilience, also known as mental resilience or psychological resilience, is the ability to regulate your mental processes and behaviours in the face of adversity. Someone who has good mental resilience can rationally deal with difficult, stressful, or surprising situations.

The key to resilience is to process whatever situation that is facing you while protecting yourself from the potential negative effects of the situation. This doesn’t mean to hide or bottle-up emotions, but rather look inwards, regulate your emotions, and then handle the situation calmly and logically.

Examples of ways to build resilience in life and in work:

  • Building good relationships with family, friends, and coworkers

  • Being active in your wider community

  • Treating problems as a learning process

  • Viewing change as part of life

  • Recognising when you have no control over a life event

  • Celebrating your accomplishments, however minor they may be

  • Focusing on the good things that come your way

  • Developing realistic goals at work and in life

  • Actively taking a positive view of yourself

  • Keeping a realistic perspective on whatever comes your way

  • Practicing optimism and positive thoughts


Is resilience the new self-care?

We are all capable of developing our resilience, and like many other mental wellbeing practices, it tends to build through proactive training, rather than simply experience. Resilience can be achieved through developing psychological and behavioural capabilities that allow you to remain calm during crises, and afterwards, move on without any negative consequences.

According to Mind, the mental health charity, resilience is based on three factors:

  1. Wellbeing: how we are feeling and how well we can cope with day-to-day life

  2. Social connections: connection with others who are in a similar situation

  3. Ways to cope: Psychological training and treatments

At Calmer, we believe in taking a proactive approach to looking after your mental health, which will support you in life and in work. For mental resilience, you can boost all three factors as follows:

  1. Wellbeing: Join the Calmer Community to regularly check-in with your mental health

  2. Social connections: Join the Calmer Professionals forum, or come along to our Events to meet likeminded people

  3. Ways to cope: Follow our video training on mental resilience, or join The Reignite Project, our free 10-week e-course

While resilience isn’t being talked about as much as self-care, mindfulness, or burnout prevention, it plays an important role in supporting mental wellbeing, and can provide an alternative, proactive route to stress management, rather than reducing stress once you are experiencing it.