Ministry of Health Singapore. All Rights Reserved.
Want to be resilient in the face of adversity? Let our local fruits inspire us on our journey of building personal resilience!
We all face traumatic events that change our lives – like a major illness, the death of a friend or parent, school or work difficulties. Sometimes it is not just an isolated incident, but a series of challenging events or a period of uninterrupted stress.
People respond to these challenging situations in different ways. While there may not be any outward physical signs, there could be inward experiences of strong emotions, uncertainty or
What is it that enables people to adapt to these life-changing situations? It involves
mental resilience or toughness to cope with the stress and our ability to bounce back when faced with difficult situations.
The good news is that we can learn to be more resilient. Resilience is not something that we are born with but more like a muscle that grows as it is strengthened. Here are some fruity qualities that can help us build resilience.
Related: Be a Master of Stress
When we face a challenge or problem, try to reframe and think of it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Choosing to have a
positive perspective can help us use our critical thinking and problem-solving skills to work through the situation and make better decisions.
Think of the durian which has spikes to protect itself and a tough exterior. Similarly, we too need to develop resilience and toughen ourselves up. Here are some traits resilient people display that help them overcome challenges.
Challenge any negative thinking and recognise thinking traps. We make broad assumptions about ourselves, predict what is going to happen, or assume we know what others are thinking — all based on little or no evidence.
We should practise gratitude and remind ourselves of what we have achieved and look forward to the future. Don’t waste time being envious of someone else’s achievements or successes. Focus on what we have and what we have achieved. Resilient individuals choose to have a thankful and grateful outlook.
Failure builds resilience. Learn from mistakes and continually improve. A failure can prove to be a valuable learning opportunity.
Related: Keep Calm and Carry On
Remember that we are like the delicate chiku or papaya with soft exteriors that are vulnerable to bruises. We need to take the time to look after ourselves and recharge after facing challenging situations.
The key to resilience is not about overworking the body and mind. Instead, resilience is about persevering, then taking a break to recover, before pressing on again.
Developing resilience means giving our bodies and minds a chance to recover and recharge by doing the following:
sleep and go
tech-free occasionally. Unplugging from smartphones and computers would allow us to spend more time connecting with people and build supportive networks.
Exercise has been found to reduce stress, and improve both mental health and the quality of sleep.
Related: Disconnect to Reconnect
Like a bunch of longans or dukus that are found hanging in clusters on trees, we need to be able to turn to our support systems. Research suggests that social support has been found to be essential for maintaining physical and psychological health. Try the following tips to get a different perspective:
Talk to peers, family, colleagues and
seek help by contacting a hotline or get professional help. When we get help from others, it is a more convenient and faster way of getting the help we need.
We can promote a caring culture by recognising the common signs of distress and pointing the person in need to the right avenue of help. There are also channels that provide information and help specifically for youths who might be struggling with mental health issues.
Being more mentally resilient can change our mental and emotional responses to challenging events. Our emotions are real and powerful and can affect how we behave. We can continuously learn to regulate our emotions and behaviour and improve our resilience.
Need someone to talk to? 1) TOUCH Community Services Tel: 1800 377 2252 (9 am-6 pm, Weekdays); 2) CHAT Tel: 6493 6500/6501 (12-9 pm, Tues-Sat); 3) SOS Tel: 1800 221 4444 (24hrs daily);
Download the HealthHub app on
Google Play or
Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.
Read these next:
This article was last reviewed on
Friday, June 19, 2020
Can Decluttering Lead to Better Mental Health?
Working Well with Your Colleagues
Myths and Misconceptions about Depression
Help Your Child Untangle From The Web
Timeout! It’s lunch!
Warning Signs of Dementia
View More Programmes
Kickstart your healthy habits today with good hygiene practices, an active lifestyle, a balanced diet and sufficient sleep.
Here are some simple ways for you to maintain your calorie intake.
Your health is yours. Caring for yourself is caring for your loved ones. Take charge and start your journey to good health today!
Browse Live Healthy
Ministry of Health Singapore. All Rights Reserved.