Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress such as family and relationship issues, serious health problems, and school or financial pressures. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or don’t have but involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that anyone can learn and develop.


Developing resilience is a personal journey. What works well for one individual may not work for another, so people must develop and use several strategies. Some variations can reflect cultural or other differences.

How to Build Resiliency

  • Accept that change is an inevitable part of living.
  • Make positive connections with others and be willing to accept help.
  • Look for opportunities for self-discovery in order to enhance personal growth.
  • Move slowly and realistically toward your goals, and track your progress.
  • Maintain a hopeful, optimistic outlook, and visualize accomplishing your goal.
  • Recognize what is important in view of the whole situation.
  • Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • Avoid seeing crises as overwhelming or impossible but rather as opportunities to grow and improve.
  • Find positive ways to reduce stress and negative feelings.
  • Take decisive action quickly and completely.
  • Keep a positive, confident view of yourself.

When Additional Help Is Needed

Getting help when you need it is crucial to building your resilience. Many people turn to family members, friends, or others who care about them for support and encouragement. Self-help and community support groups can be helpful. Seeking the assistance of a licensed mental health professional can be an important next step.