“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”  Viktor E. Frankl

What is resilience?

Resilience can be defined as ‘the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity.’

Resilient people share the following traits:

  • They believe in themselves
  • They believe they have some power to influence their situation
  • They view life’s challenges as opportunities rather than threats

As a result, resilient people are happier and more motivated as well as being in a position to realise their true potential.

What difference can resilience make in stressful situations?

Many people believe that emotional tensions arise as a direct result of stressful situations. In contrast the model below suggests that emotional reactions do not stem directly from the situations, but from our interpretation of that situation. Whilst the situation triggers the start of the transaction the response occurs when we interpret the situation in our mind.

This process of interpretation can be broken down into several stages and at each stage we have a choice to change our response, which will, in turn, change the biological reactions that occur in our bodies as a result of triggering either the survival instinct or our instinct to connect.

The Stressor to Stress Response – Step by Step




Next steps

The exercises take you through all the stages giving tips and techniques to challenge your response at each stage as follows:

Be proactive not reactive

By increasing your awareness about your usual response patterns and reflecting on how to change them, it is possible to choose different responses that will yield better outcomes and lower levels of stress. The ability to respond more proactively rather than reactively is a skill that can be learned and the more you practise it the more resilient you will become.

Accept it, change it, remove it – the choice is yours!

Score your stressor on the awfulness scale

Change your perception by stepping into someone else’s shoes

Change your feelings by changing your body posture, try these power poses

Take back control in a situation by changing your beliefs

Choose a better response rather than react with your usual behaviours