Important Facts On Stress Resilience

By Eugenia Dickerson

Stress resilience is the ability of an individual to cope with anxiety and tension. It is an attribute that helps the affected individual bounce back to a previous state of functioning following a major event in their life. The term may also refer to improved functioning after experiencing some difficulties. This is commonly known as post-traumatic growth. It is important to understand this phenomenon as a process that takes time to develop rather than a personal trait.

It is normal for people to react negatively when they are faced with difficulties in life. Events such as trauma, adversity and threats frequently cause negative behaviours and attitudes among the affected. Through resilience, one can overcome these negative thoughts and adopt more constructive positive attitudes. Offering psychological treatment to these persons in the form of cognitive behaviour therapy is greatly helpful. The significance of social support cannot be overlooked.

Several factors have been shown to make it easy for people to develop this ability. Persons that have close relationships with families and friends find it easier than those who do not. Those who are always optimistic are also more likely to recover from events that could potentially cause depression. Other important factors include willingness to seek help, good communication skills and a winning mentality.

Religion has been established to important factor in dealing with life challenges and raising the self-esteem of affected persons. Research shows that youths that join the church tend to have an improvement in their academic performance. This improvement is attributable to the mere attendance of church and the interaction with the religious community rather than doctrine. The church is believed to have a great influence on emotional, social and physical health.

Resilience can be determined objectively using what is known as resiliency quotient, SRQ. This is a measure of different aspects of life and uses them to estimate the quality of life. The main areas that have to be assessed include dietary behaviours as regards type of food and eating patterns, quality and duration of sleep and availability of family and social structures. Other aspects that have to be highlighted include physical exercise and level of income.

After the resiliency quotient has been determined, the affected person can be advised appropriately. Typically, the quotient is given a numerical value that is in turn allocated a percentile with respect to the general population. Persons that score highly are regarded as being normal while those that are given low scores require some form of assistance. Both medical and psychological support may be required for the serious cases.

Stressful situations affect diverse systems in the body and often lead to serious dysfunction. One of the areas that are commonly affected is the musculoskeletal system. In this system, the main symptoms that are experienced include muscle and joint pains. The effects on the parasympathetic system are manifested in the gut and the genitourinary system. Other areas that are affected include the sympathetic, emotional, cognitive, endocrine and the immune system.

Stress resilience needs that one takes up an active role in the recovery process. The process may take days, weeks or months depending on your personal commitment. Challenging yourself to always maintain a high self-esteem is a very important step. The role of the family in the recovery process is invaluable.

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