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What is Resilience Training?

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Resilience refers to the process of adapting to life challenges such as changes, stress, loss, risk, crisis, and adversity. Resilience training is a set of programs to assist individuals in learning to manage and grow from stress or serious life struggles. It focuses on four areas, including mental, physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual resilience. Training in these areas can improve your resiliency, enhance your quality of life, and reduce your anxiety and stress by teaching you to consider life's inevitable challenges as opportunities.

Most resilience training programs offer a combination of:

  • Goal setting
  • Cognitive-behavior therapy
  • Psychological education
  • Mindfulness training
  • Relaxation
  • Gratitude
  • Self-compassion skills
  • Emotional regulation training

These help to develop resilience by learning to train your attention on more positive aspects of your life. You utilize purposeful, trained attention to reduce negative thoughts in your mind and bring greater focus on the most meaningful aspect of an experience.

Who is a Good Candidate for Resilience Training?

You may be a good candidate for resilience training if you have been going through stressful situations or facing unique life challenges that you have not been able to cope with or having symptoms as a result of it, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety or fear
  • Intrusive thoughts or recurring nightmares
  • Stomach upset or change in appetite
  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Feeling angry, resentful, or irritable
  • Guilt, grief, or self-doubt
  • Decreased immunity
  • Decreased libido
  • Unduly critical and blaming self or others
  • Excessive use of tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, or misuse of prescription drugs

What Does Resilience Training Involve?

Resilience training programs may vary. However, common concepts include:

  • Learning good coping skills
  • Teaching flexible thinking
  • Promoting positive emotions
  • Identifying meaning in life
  • Finding social support

Resilience training is chiefly designed to assist individuals before they experience stressors. They can also be utilized during or after these stresses are encountered. All resilience training programs have almost the same objective, but can differ largely in terms of structure. Program time intervals can range from one 2-hour session to twenty-eight hours of training over many sessions. A common model is to have 60-to-90-minute sessions weekly over many weeks or months. Most resilience training is comprised of one-on-one training with a mental health professional. Some programs are offered online or may be provided in print form or carried out over the phone. Follow-ups (for instance, 6 months after completing the program) are typically scheduled. These programs are found through physician referrals, employers, or community groups.

How Can Resilience Training Help to Encounter Stressful or Adverse Situations?

For some individuals, resilience is an inborn thing. However, it should and can be cultivated throughout life through guidance and training by a mental health professional or healthcare provider. To look at or convert negative situations into something positive, you should focus on these points:

  • Practicing mindfulness and positive thinking
  • Adding flexibility and creativity to our problem-solving
  • Finding social support groups in our personal and professional lives
  • Working to find meaning and purpose within our lives
  • Identifying and strengthening coping skills for stress and challenges
  • Develop the right attitude
  • Practice self-control
  • Cultivate optimism
  • Strengthen social ties – a strong and supportive social network will help you be better prepared to cope with challenges and deal with stress
  • Maintain a sense of humor – a sense of humor keeps you less stressed and better prepared to cope with difficulties
  • Exercise – physical activity is directly related to resilience and staying healthy and positively affects your mood
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga

What are the Benefits of Resilience Training?

Some of the ways that resilience training can benefit individuals include:

  • Strengthen and protect self-efficacy and emotional well-being
  • Enable changes and challenges in life to be taken more smoothly and effectively, without the likelihood of reacting out of fear or anxiety
  • Setting realistic goals in life to accomplish
  • Embracing vulnerability with confidence, rather than seeing it as a weakness
  • More focused and productive
  • Maximize resilience and strength in difficult situations
  • Using support networks or a buddy system when faced with difficulties
  • Train to practice healthy habits, such as taking breaks, eating healthy foods, exercising, and limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption
  • Help to improve your ability to manage your own care and navigate an often unpredictable journey or critical illness through life
  • Teach skills to manage life stressors and help you stay healthy in the midst of adversities in life

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