Published on May 18, 2022

Are You Resilient?

long road

The World Health Organization defines mental health as well-being. It means realizing your potential, coping with the normal stressors of life, working productively and contributing to your community.

How is this achieved? By building resilience through coping mechanisms, more specifically: protective factors.

Protective Factors

Protective factors allow you to be resilient in the face of challenges. Protective factors such as a strong connection with others and healthy coping skills make you better equipped to overcome life’s obstacles.

Some protective factors are outside your control. For example, you cannot change your family, genetics or childhood neighborhood. However, you can control plenty of factors, such as who will remain in your life, how you will cope with difficulties and how you will spend each day.

When you focus on what you can control and strengthen these protective factors, you improve your ability to cope with many of life’s challenges.

Here are six different areas of protective factors that can help you build resilience. The stronger these factors are for you, the better:

Social Support

• Able to talk about problems with someone you trust
• Someone in your network that you can ask for practical help
• Experience the feelings of love, intimacy or friendship with someone

Physical Health

• Engaging in adequate exercise or physical activity
• Consuming a healthy and balanced diet
• Following the advice of your medical team by taking medication as prescribed and keeping medical appointments

Self-Esteem

• Belief in yourself and your worth
• Able to accept your personal flaws, weaknesses and mistakes
• Belief in your ability to overcome challenges

Coping Skills

• Able to manage uncomfortable emotions in a healthy manner
• Understanding that your thoughts, feelings and behaviors are often affected by each other

Sense of Purpose

• Meaningful involvement in work, education or other roles of your life
• Having personal values and living in accordance with those values

Healthy Thinking

• Able to accept mistakes, flaws or issues without getting stuck on them
• Able to recognize personal strengths and weakness in a rational manner

Incorporate these protective factors into your daily routine. Resiliency is a skill that can be built. If you need help, please seek help from a mental health professional.

Protective factors such as a strong connection with others and healthy coping skills equip you to overcome life’s obstacles.