Mental Health Spotlight: Building Resilience

By building your resilience, you can protect your mental health and wellbeing from negative stressors such as lack of social support...

By Tim Hoopmann

Resilience is the ability to “bounce back” from stressful or challenging experiences. It involves being able to adapt to changes and approach negative events, sources of stress and traumatic events as constructively as possible.

Being resilient does not mean that a person wont experience difficult life events, but rather that they are better able to cope with them when they do occur. Often resilience is built through the experience of difficult life events. Developing a greater level of resilience won’t stop negative or stressful things from occurring, however it can reduce the level of disruption a stressor has on the individual and the time it takes for them to recover from it.

By building your resilience, you can protect your mental health and wellbeing from negative stressors such as lack of social support, being bullied, experiencing trauma, socioeconomic disadvantage and social or cultural discrimination.

For people who already live with mental illness, resilience can help with the experience of setbacks and challenges, while promoting the development of confidence for the effective management of illness and for recovery.

Here are several ways to help build your resilience. Start practicing today:

Positive thinking – try to look at things with an open and positive mind instead of looking at what’s wrong.

Take time for yourself – spend each day doing something that makes you feel good, like spending time with people you care about.

Mindset – adopt a “growth” mindset.

Optimism – be optimistic! Optimism not only facilitates psychological resilience but can increase physical resilience by increasing immunity.

Coping skills – believe in yourself and that you can manage. Look for solutions that are going to be beneficial. If you can change something, then do so. If you can’t change it, let go until the right solution comes along.

Capacity building – increase your ability to face challenges by increasing your abilities and confidence.

Psychological techniques – experiment with cognitive behaviour therapy, positive psychology or mindfulness.


Tim Hoopmann is a speaker, mentor and coach, with a passion for growing small business through using technology to increase productivity and reduce costs. He is also a volunteer speaker for Beyond Blue, working to raise awareness of anxiety and depression, reduce the associated stigma and encourage people to get help.

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