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“Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress” Resilience is not a personality trait someone has, instead it involves behaviors or thoughts that an individual can learn and cultivate. There are many ways someone can build resilience. Having a sense of purpose, feeling connected, and establishing goals are all different things a person can do to help develop resilience in their lives.
When/if you go through a traumatic or difficult experience, one way you can recover is by discovering a sense of purpose in your life. Having a sense of purpose allows you to not only focus on you and your situation, but you are able to put your energy into something that you think is going to make a positive impact on the world.
Feeling connected is another way to help build resilience. There are so many ways you can feel connected, whether that would be connected to your friends, family, community or a spiritual life or faith. Having a sense of connectedness is like finding purpose, as it allows you to focus on something other than yourself. When you feel connected to others, you can go to that person or people and confide in them. In order to build resilience, it is important people have other individuals they can count on.
Another way you can develop resilience is by setting and establishing goals. You can set whatever types of goals you like, but when building resilience, it is equally as beneficial to accomplish a simple goal as it is a more complex or large goal. The process of working towards a goal, no matter the size, is what truly helps. Take your goals one step and day at a time. If you have recently experienced a traumatic or difficult experience, it is not going be easy to set and achieve goals, but it can be so beneficial.
Resilience is something that everyone can develop. Research has shown that it leaves a lifelong impact on every person that cultivates it. If there is a time where the above steps or others are not working for yourself or someone you know, it is important to seek out help. No matter what experience you have gone through, you are not alone and there are multiple people you can talk with.
Katie Zimmerman, Project Coordinator for The Kim Foundation
Katie Zimmerman joined The Kim Foundation in June 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and Sociology from Central College in Pella, Iowa. During her time in college, she volunteered at many non-profit organizations and took multiple sociology classes which focused on mental health. Katie’s role at The Kim Foundation includes running the social media accounts, assisting in the Youth Advisory Council, and providing mental health awareness and education to the community through A Voice for Hope and Healing presentations.