Important Facts On Stress Resilience

By Eugenia Dickerson

Stress resilience is a term that describes the capability of a person to cope with tension or anxiety. This attribute is very important as it helps people to resume with their normal lives after experiencing some form of demoralizing event in their lives. Rather than sinking into hopelessness, some people have been reported to have improved functionality a feature commonly termed post-traumatic growth. Resilience is a process and not the trait of individual persons.

It is normal for people to react negatively when they are faced with difficulties in life. Events such as trauma, adversity and threats frequently cause negative behaviours and attitudes among the affected. Through resilience, one can overcome these negative thoughts and adopt more constructive positive attitudes. Offering psychological treatment to these persons in the form of cognitive behaviour therapy is greatly helpful. The significance of social support cannot be overlooked.

There are a number of factors that have been identified as enhancing this attribute. Close relationships with your families and friends is one of them. This coupled to the ability to easily share experiences makes it much easier to cope with difficulties. Other factors include ability to seek help and resources, good communication skills and presence of a winning mentality.

It has been shown that religion is very influential in helping people rise up after tragic events. Young people who engage themselves in church activities have a higher self-esteem and better academic performance. This improvement is attributable to attendance of church events and interaction of other members of the church community and not the doctrine per se. Traditionally, the church has been known to play a major role in emotional, physical and social health.

Resilience can be determined objectively using what is known as resiliency quotient, SRQ. This is a measure of different aspects of life and uses them to estimate the quality of life. The main areas that have to be assessed include dietary behaviours as regards type of food and eating patterns, quality and duration of sleep and availability of family and social structures. Other aspects that have to be highlighted include physical exercise and level of income.

Once the resiliency quotient has been determined, the affected person is advised accordingly. Results of the assessment are expressed in percentiles. Persons that have a score that falls above the 90th percentile are regarded as being psychological stable. Those that score slightly below this can be assisted through a little social and medical support to restore normalcy. Those that score very lowly almost always need comprehensive medical support.

There are many systems that are affected by stress. The systems that are commonly affected include the musculoskeletal system where joint and muscle pains are commonly experienced, the parasympathetic system and the sympathetic system. Other systems include cognitive system where there may be abnormalities in memory, decision making, judgement and learning, the immune system and the emotional system. Treatment is therefore geared at resolving all these problems.

Stress resilience needs that one takes up an active role in the recovery process. The process may take days, weeks or months depending on your personal commitment. Challenging yourself to always maintain a high self-esteem is a very important step. The role of the family in the recovery process is invaluable.

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