Resilienza: cos’è questa forza nascosta

Understanding Resilience: Definition and Types

Resilience is a word that everyone is talking about today, from newspapers to social media: synonymous with strength, endurance, flexibility, adaptability, and much more.

A beautiful and positive word, but what does it really mean? And how many types are there?

Definition of Resilience 

Resilience is the ability of a material or organism to withstand external stresses. It is not synonymous with simple “hardness,” but much more. It does not mean being unaffected by anything; rather, it means being able to deform without breaking.

We could say it is the ability to “take hits,” to shape around difficulties, to change form and mind to adapt to complex situations, emerging improved and more efficient, aware.

In short, resilience is an evolution of the old saying “what doesn't kill you makes you stronger” or the concept of “bending without breaking.”

Different Contexts of the Term 

The term, now prominent especially from an emotional and psychological perspective, is actually used in various disciplines to express a set of similar concepts.

  • Mechanical-Engineering Resilience Refers to the ability of structures and materials to absorb external forces, such as weight or pressure, deforming but not tearing.

  • IT Resilience This term is also used in the IT and tech world, often to indicate the ability of systems and devices to withstand wear and obsolescence, adapting well to different usage conditions.

  • Social and Process Resilience A broader phenomenon where entire societies or complex systems manage to adapt to negative variables, often resulting in a step forward for the system itself.

  • Biological or Environmental Resilience Describes the great strength of organisms to resist external attacks or diseases, finding a new equilibrium in a situation different and more difficult than the standard, as seen in people who undergo organ transplants.

  • Psychological Resilience The term applies very well to those who have suffered trauma and manage to emerge stronger and better after a difficult experience.

How to Train Psychological Resilience? 

Not being overwhelmed by adversity but, on the contrary, drawing strength and the will to improve from it. It doesn't seem easy, but like gratitude, resilience – although closely linked to each person's intrinsic character – can be trained.

Seeing things from a different perspective can help: it’s all a matter of approach.

Feeling unlucky and discouraged by many unpleasant episodes in one’s life is normal, but it cannot become an excuse not to react. Reacting, raising your head, facing fear and pain are, paradoxically, part of the cure itself.

The immense strength of those who have suffered severe psychological trauma or are undergoing hospitalization due to serious illnesses: this is resilience.

It is the will to smile despite the discomfort, to see beyond that discomfort, to when it will be over and leave us new, strong, tempered.

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