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Key Features of Resilience

Updated: Apr 5

Who hasn’t experienced upheaval and challenge lately?

Whether in our personal or professional lives, finding ways to cope and manage is essential to our survival. But what is it that allows us to remain strong and healthy through difficult times?

You may have heard the word ‘resilience’ used much more frequently in the media recently. This is usually in relation to managing and growing through challenge as individuals, teams and communities.

Often misunderstood, ‘resilience’ is a term that encapsulates the range of strategies and abilities that can enable a person or system to withstand pressure and overcome adversity.

So, what are the key features of resilience?

Bouncing back

You might be surprised to learn that resilience is not defined by an absence of stress. In fact, resilient people experience stress, just like we all do. The difference is that they recover and bounce back more quickly.

When we feel threatened, we all experience physiological and emotional reactions. However, a key feature of resilience is being able to calm ourselves quickly and to take time out to recover. This allows us to regain a sense of control, adapt and respond effectively to the threats we are facing. In this sense, resilience is the ability to avoid becoming overwhelmed by challenges, to manage stress effectively and get back to normal functioning as quickly as possible.


Resilience is also about being flexible and adaptable.

When we feel threatened, uncomfortable physiological symptoms and negative emotions can interfere with our ability to think clearly and to find solutions to the problems we are facing. By using strategies to calm unpleasant physiological and emotional responses to threat, we can keep the ‘thinking brain’ switched on. This allows us to think flexibly, problem-solve and find ways to adapt to the challenges we are facing.


Research has shown that people who have successfully navigated some form of threat or adversity in their lives are more confident and more resilient when facing future challenges. Think of a time when you survived a difficult situation or challenge. What was it that allowed you to get through it, to recover and carry on?

When we take a moment to reflect on how we survived, to recognise our existing skills, we build self-belief and confidence. We feel grounded, are able to think clearly and adapt flexibly to find new ways through which allow us to thrive.


Resilience is all about managing emotions and thinking flexibly to bounce back and thrive. Not only this, but for the most resilient people among us, adversity serves as a springboard for growth and development.

Research shows that when we successfully manage and adapt to highly stressful life events we also grow and develop new skills along the way. These skills are useful when we face further challenges, demands or pressures, allowing us to maintain our resilience and future-proof ourselves against stress.

We can all learn the skills needed to become resilient. Our evidence-based training, based on our published model of resilience, provides a clear step-by-step process for banishing stress and thriving through tough times.

If you found this interesting and would like to find out more about how to stay calm, manage stress and build your resilience, get in touch for a free consultation. For more tips and ideas follow us on Facebook or check out our online course.

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If you work for an organisation and are looking for multi-award winning workplace resilience and wellbeing solutions check out our full range of services here.

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