What does individual resilience mean?

“In the ebb and flow of daily life, people are confronted with changing circumstances to which they must adapt. Resilience is the ability to navigate these changes successfully”

Block & Kremen, 1996

Resilience and Health

sailing_on_a_summer_breeze_seascapes__landscapes__87143228728edcc1b372bc11a24e4864rowing boatResilience in relation to health can be explained using a water level model (as taught by Dr Chris Johnstone and Professor Patrick Pietroni – see article below).

Health can be seen as rowing in a boat and illness as a crash into a rock. crashing into rock

When resilience is high the water level is higher and rocks more easily avoided.

RESILIENCE: bouncing back……or bouncing forward?

Things – inanimate objects – fall apart. But organisms and organisations develop and grow, adapting to the constant challenges they face.   New properties emerge from this complexity.   The whole becomes more than its parts! This is resilience. In fact life itself – and the ways sustainable systems of every size – from the genome to the biosphere – organise themselves depends on it.

Being resilient may keep you going when the going gets tough, and it could help you recover from stress and setbacks. Becoming resilient is a process of learning that happens on many levels of the mind and body.   Of course, this process depends not simply on individual traits and abilities but also on many kinds of outer resources that support the ability to deal with life’s challenges and stressful events in ways that allow a person not just to bounce back and recover from difficulties but to develop and grow by bouncing forward.

For a couple of excellent articles on health-care staff resilience see the ‘Discover’ page.
And for ideas/podcasts/workshops to help build our resilience see the ‘Take Action’ page