The concept of resilience has been around since the 1970s, when psychologists and scientists focused on the resilience of children in overcoming poverty, abuse and other stresses.
Later, resiliency studies expanded to include adults — from war veterans to survivors of natural disasters. Today, resiliency training is a hot topic in mind-body medicine.
According to Dr. Henry Emmons, a Twin Cities psychiatrist, each of us is born with a "container" that represents our ability to respond to stress. Some people innately have larger containers than others. But what matters is how full our containers are. Traumatic events can deplete resiliency. However, we can take steps to restore our resilience by:
• Building a network of supportive friends and relatives.
• Adopting a healthy optimistic attitude — neither Pollyanna nor pessimistic.
• Exercising regularly.
• Taking good care of yourself by getting plenty of sleep and regular relaxation and eating a healthy diet.
• Allowing for flexibility in your thinking, which fosters creative problem-solving.