In layman’s terms, resilience is defined as “the ability to bounce back or ability to overcome difficulties”. Most people think that being resilient means that a person doesn’t feel the pain brought by hardships. It is the completely wrong meaning of resilience. Those who are resilient feel pain or stress brought by hardships but they possess the ability to overcome it. They do not succumb to the hardships. When one encounters the problem, it doesn’t mean they will recover quickly. It’s like climbing a mountain while maintaining patience. It will take time but at last, you will arrive at the top. Resilience is an important aspect that is covered in positive psychology too. In simpler terms, it is the capacity to adapt to whatever life tosses at you. Resolve, determination, adaptability, flexibility, etc all contribute to resilience. Gillian (2001) defined resilience as “a bunch of characteristics that assist an individual in withstanding a significant number of the negative impacts of difficulty”. Garmezy and Masten (1991) called resilience “ the successful adaptation despite the hardships”. 

Researchers have given the term emotional resilience as; ability to calm one’s anxious mind when encountering negative events. It is said that stress experienced by individuals helps in promoting resilience. The experience of positive feelings might be significant in assisting strong people with recuperating cardiovascular functions. Certain factors identified by a psychologist that contribute to building resilience are as follows-:

Positive attitude 

Emotional regulation


Emotional support


The research was carried out to study the relationship between emotional regulation strategies and resilience in adolescents. There were 164 adolescents around the age of 13-16 in the study. Results revealed that emotional regulation helps in developing resilience in adolescence. Hence, there is a significant relationship. Another study was conducted that explored the connection between self-regulation and resilience in 365 Spanish individuals between the age range of 15-21 yrs. It was revealed that there exists a positive and significant relationship between self-regulation and resilience. A study was administered on undergraduates to determine the relationship between academic self-efficacy (faith in one’s capacities to sort out and execute the required action in the given situation) and academic-related resilience. Results obtained in the study revealed that self-efficacy in academics has a significant relationship with academic resilience (the ability to overcome setbacks in academic settings like school). Students who have high academic self-efficacy depicted high academic resilience in academic settings. A study was conducted on resilience, thinking styles, and self-efficacy in 130 Italian adolescents. Results obtained highlighted the fact that the more resilience experienced by adolescents, the more is the ability to cope up with novice situations. There was a significant correlation especially between academic and generalized self-efficacy and thinking styles. 

Few studies explore the relationship between resilience and optimism, unlike previous studies. The research was administered to study the connection between resilience and optimism in 132 university students. It was revealed that optimism facilitates resilience among college students. A positive relationship between two variables. It means students who view their future in positive terms will be more flexible in their approach. Hence, they will respond to stressors better. Another study was conducted that aims to the association between resilience, optimism, and psychological well-being. There were  414 students selected for the research. The results obtained were intriguing. In this research, it was revealed that resilience facilitates psychological well being whereas optimism acts as an intervention element between psychological wellbeing and resilience. 

The research was administered during a pandemic that examined the relationship between resilience and optimism among 100 university students. To collect the responses, a digital survey method has opted. Results highlighted that resilience and optimism have a positive association during hardships as well. A positive attitude or optimism will contribute to resilience. We have seen developing resilience with the help of many factors in the above findings but how forgiveness and resilience are correlated. Scholars say  “ forgiveness is divinity but does forgiveness help in building resilience.

 The research was administered to examine the relationship between forgiveness and happiness with resilience playing the mediating role. Participants in the study were around 203 undergraduate students. Results revealed that resilience acted as an intervention element between forgiveness and happiness. Dr. Everett Worthington, who was an author of a book called the power of forgiving and moving forward: six steps to forgive yourself and breaking free from the past. He has said that forgiveness is difficult to practice and when we are asked to rise above the challenge. It helps in becoming more resilient. The research was carried out to study how forgiveness and resilience are interrelated. Participants of the study were around 380  which were selected from drug treatment and rehabilitation centers throughout Malaysia. Findings revealed that forgiveness has a positive impact on resilience. Thus, they have a positive relationship. 

 Thus, Resilience is the ability to recover or manage the stressors that come from the environment. Degrees of resilience vary in individuals. Some people have low resilience and some individuals have high resilience. Those with a low degree of resilience often succumb to challenges while those with a high degree of resilience face the challenges with determination.  Though, it is not always true. People might have low resilience at the start of a problem but they cultivate resilience along the way. Many factors help in building resilience in the individual. From the above findings, it can be concluded that optimism or positive attitude, forgiveness. Self and emotional regulation all constitute pillars of resilience.  Hence, Endurance and patient hardships also help in developing resilience. 

Written by Kajal Gupta 

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