What it Means to be Resilient

by Ami Kunimura, Ph.D., MT-BC   •   October 2021

As we move through life’s challenges, resilience can be something to aim for. However, being resilient doesn’t mean that you have to be strong all the time and resilience does not mean you need to go through life trying to be a superhero.

As we aim for resilience it can help to know what we are actually aiming for. So, tet’s talk about what resilience means, and create some compassionate parameters around the word resilience.

In general, resilience can mean the ability to bounce back. We are resilient when we bounce back from stress, adversity, change, hardship, challenge, or difficulty. Each time we bounce back we can strengthen ourselves and feel a sense of satisfaction from tapping into our courage and fortitude.

However, this can get tiring, especially during times when it seems like we’re facing non-stop challenges. Sometimes we need a break from all this bouncing back. You don’t have to be strong all the time.

So in addition to being the ability to bounce back, let’s widen our definition of resilience.

Resilience can also mean:

  • Being kind to yourself instead of being hard on yourself
  • Being honest with yourself about your limits
  • Accepting change instead of fighting against it
  • Accepting yourself instead of fighting against yourself
  • Responding to stress with self-care

Which one of these do you need to focus on today?

And so remember that resilience can mean kindness. Resilience can mean honesty. Resilience can mean acceptance. Resilience can mean choosing self-care. Even in small ways.

Ami Kunimura, PhD, MT-BC is the founder of the Self-Care Institute. She holds a Ph.D. in Mind-Body Medicine and is a board-certified music therapist. Learn more about Ami here.



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