Building resilience

Mental wellbeing is all about feeling good and functioning well. We all have mental health, and we can all do simple things to look after it. Did you know that around 40% of our mental wellbeing is down to the choices we make and the actions we take?

To look after our body we can brush our teeth, try to get our five-a-day fruit and veg, but what about our minds? Think of five things that you can do every day for your mental health. What could yours be?

In three popular things that young people do for their mental health are;

  • Listening to Music
    Did you know that when you listen to certain music (usually associated with good memories) your body releases a chemical called dopamine in your brain which makes you feel good?
  • Sport
    Did you know that when you do sport your body releases chemicals called endorphins in your brain which make you feel good?
  • Spending time with friends
    Humans are social by nature and spending time with others naturally makes us feel good.

All of us face difficulties at some time in our lives – every time we learn a new skill, face a new situation, deal with conflicts, experience loss or disappointments. However, some people have more than their fair share of challenges whether through disability, bullying, abuse, poverty, or tragic circumstances. You may be one of them.

According to research one of the key factors that determine your ability to deal with adversity is your ability to bounce back when things are tough (resilience).

Resilience is important because it;

  • Helps you to try new things.
  • Encourages you to take on challenges.
  • Keeps you going when things get tough.
  • Keeps your dreams alive.
  • Helps you to deal with failure and frustration.
  • Give you the strength to get up and try again.
  • Give you a ‘WHY’ to keep going for.

One way to think of resilience is asking yourself ‘when I go through difficult times am I able to bounce back, or do I struggle to pick myself up and keep going?”

Charity Boing Boing, through research originating from Professor Angie Hart, identify 5 key factors that have a huge influence on how resilient a person will be. They are:

  1. All of my basic needs are taken care of (I have enough money, a nice place to live, a good diet, time to relax, and I feel safe.
  2. I feel like I belong. I have strong and healthy relationships, I know that I am needed, I can make and keep friends.
  3. I am developing myself through learning. I engage well with my school or college courses. I am organised. I feel like I have achieved things in life.
  4. I can cope with challenges. I Iearn from my mistakes and am not too critical of myself. I am good at solving problems.
  5. I feel like I know myself (core self) well. I can understand the feelings of others. I know what I am good at. I am hopeful about the future.