Resilience, what is it and how do we build it?

Typewriter Resilience

In our ever-evolving world, characterized by burnout, disconnection, disruptive changes and rapid innovations developing resilience is a skill set that often gets overlooked.  We often want to solve our problems with a quick fix and then move on to the next task. By slowing down and building resilience we can actually create adaptive strategies that will help us tend to life’s challenges and adjust to external and internal demands. 

Now you might be asking yourself what is resilience in the first place?  Think back to a time where you faced a challenge and instead of dwelling on the negatives you sprang into action despite the setback and adapted to the situation.  We will all face different challenges in life and being resilient doesn’t mean that you won’t feel the emotional pain or stress, but rather you will work through it and build a coping strategy that is unique to you. 

In life resiliency becomes a desired skill set as we are faced with varied stressors on an everyday basis. In order for us to process and overcome hardship we can tap into our strengths and use healthier coping mechanisms. If you’d like to become more resilient, consider these tips:

  • Stay connected. Building strong, positive relationships with others can provide you with needed support, guidance and acceptance in good and bad times. A sense of community is a great way to work in collaboration with one another and decrease the emotional toll on yourself. 
  • Daily Gratitude.  Make each day count and participate in an activity that has purpose and gives you a sense of accomplishment. 
  • Learn from the past. Our past hardships are our best teachers.  Think back to difficult times and what helped you cope.  You may even have a mantra or certain affirmations that can be written down in a journal to help guide you in the future. 
  • Be optimistic. You can’t change the past, but you can always look toward the future.  Being aware that change is inevitable allows you to be more flexible and be open to challenges. 
  • Self-Care: This is where you pay more attention to your own needs and feelings. Participate in things that bring you joy, and include physical activity in your daily routine. A healthy diet and a good night rest is key to optimizing your health. Practice stress management and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing or prayer.

Becoming more resilient takes time and patience. If you are faced with ongoing challenges and are getting stuck, consider talking to a mental health professional. With guidance, you can improve your resilience and mental wealth. 


by Dr. Shimi Kang and Jas Hundal

Dr. Shimi Kang is an award-winning Harvard trained medical doctor, researcher, and expert on science-based solutions for health, happiness, and achievement. Dr. Kang is a practicing psychiatrist with over 20 years of experience. She is the author of the #1 bestseller The Dolphin Parent & The Tech Solution, a Clinical Associate Professor at UBC, the founder of Future-ready Minds, Co-Founder of Get Sparky app, & host of the YouTube show, Mental Wealth with Dr. Shimi Kang. She is a proud mom of 3 & the recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Leadership, and the Jubilee Medal for community service.

Jas Hundal is a Registered Social Worker and the Clinical Director of Counselling at Future-ready Minds, She has her Masters of Social Work from the University of Victoria and a Certificate in Advanced Facilitation & Consultation from the Justice Institute of BC. In her career Jas has worked predominantly with South Asian men and women, to provide essential services in the Punjabi language. She is trained in a range of therapeutic modalities and has worked diligently in the field of mental health and addictions since 2006.  Jas is passionate about helping members of her community learn ways to improve their mental health by using holistic and strength-based practices.