I read a post this morning on The Resilience Institute LinkedIn profile on how to be resilient in face of challenges, and it prompted me to put a short article together.
The LinkedIn post shared an article reporting that exercise helps build resilience. In short, I'd have to agree.
It seems to me, that putting oneself in harm's way in a controlled and measured manner, as we do when we train our bodies hard on a regular basis, conditions us to better cope.
As with muscle growth, manageable degrees of stress create micro-tears to our psychological muscles, the subsequent repairs to which makes us stronger.
Just as working out trains us for known and expected challenges such as competition and ever more demanding sessions, manageable psychological stress trains us for the unexpected.
Developmental Psychology recognises that learning occurs when tasks are a stretch, but not completely out of reach. So it seems to be the same when it comes to resilience.
In order to cope and make it through the challenge, we have to be willing to progressively expose ourselves to greater and greater challenges.
Learning how to be resilient is not achieved by avoiding challenges, it is achieved by facing them. And as with any physiological skill, like a carpenter learning how to make a dovetail joint in wood, or a powerlifter learning the back-squat, psychological skills such as Resilience have to be practiced.