By DeAnna Pearl, Tillamook County Prevention Coordinator, Tillamook Family Counseling Center

What does it take to build resiliency in ourselves?   What is resiliency? The official definition is the ability to overcome challenges of all kinds–trauma, tragedy, personal crises, plain ole life problems–and bounce back stronger, wiser, and more personally powerful.

It’s important because this is what we need to do when faced with life’s inevitable difficulties. AND it’s important because there is a growing body of social science research that explains how you can you bounce back, even from a lifetime of “risk factors” or very painful trauma or tragedy, and how can you help those you care about bounce back.

Can individuals learn to be more resilient, or are some just born with the ability to bounce back from adversity? Both!   Research suggests that human beings are born with an innate self-righting ability, which can be helped or hindered. Their findings are fueling a major shift in thinking about human development.

Instead of obsessing about problems and weaknesses (splat factor) to recognizing “the power of the positive” (bounce factor).   Identifying and building individual and environmental strengths better support helping people overcome difficulties, achieve happiness, and attain life success.

There are five key supports that are essential to support and build resiliency:

  1. Having caring adults around;
  2. Providing safe places;
  3. Include a healthy start and healthy development;
  4. Effective education;
  5. Opportunity to help others through service.
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