The relationship between resilience and stress is an interesting topic of ongoing study. Stress and trauma are common occurrences in our lives and there is no limit to the level of trauma that people can experience in different circumstances. The way in which survivors, witnesses, care-givers, and sufferers responded to the tragic Boston Marathon bombings is an excellent example of good resilience. Many people who witnessed the horrific events experienced deep emotional pain and stress that may bring on periods of intense stress and anxiety for the rest of their lives.

What does this mean for the psychological health of those who suffered trauma?

It means that resilience can be affected by the circumstances in which people are exposed to. In addition, resilience can change over time as a person adapts to a particular situation or life experience. A number of recent studies have found that people who are resilient tend to maintain higher levels of mental health.

One of the most significant benefits of resilience is improved immune function. Resilience is important for fighting off illness and for maintaining a positive mood. In a recent studies indicated, patients with higher levels of resilience were less likely to suffer from depression. They were also less likely to exhibit mood swings and engage in risky behaviour when compared to patients with lower resilience. The results of this study are promising for individuals who are suffering from depression or illness and are at higher risk for depression.

Another way in which resilience relates to mental health is that those who are more resilient are better able to manage stress and cope with emotional difficulties. Resilience has been shown to be related to improved coping strategies. This means that those who are better able to manage stress are better able to avoid negative consequences that result from unsuccessful coping strategies. Those who are less able to effectively manage stress are at increased risk for depression, substance abuse and other related psychological disorders.

Quality of relationships

Resilience has also been demonstrated to relate to the quality of relationships. When living with high levels of acute stress, individuals may lack the skills necessary to properly interact with others. The inability to properly interact with others, which can lead to poor relationships, can have a negative impact on mental health. In addition, people who are unable to manage stress may be unable to maintain long-term relationships. They may eventually develop poor relationships due to feelings of shame or embarrassment. This can have a profound negative impact on relationships within the work place, as those who are unable to effectively deal with work related stress may lose opportunities in the workplace.


According to the Stress Reduction and Long Term Health benefits of Mindfulness, students who were taught to practice a state of mindfulness during their studies had lower levels of perceived stress and higher levels of self-awareness. Self-awareness is defined as the ability to notice and control responses to stressful situations. When individuals who practice mindfulness are aware of their emotions, thoughts and physical reactions, they are able to respond more effectively to stressful situations. In addition, higher levels of self-awareness can help individuals reduce their symptoms of both anxiety and depression.

Another benefit of resiliency was demonstrated in a research study conducted on physically active individuals. When primed with information about the types of activities they would like to attempt, and asked about their personal strengths and weaknesses, physically active individuals were better able to anticipate and prevent potential injuries. Although it is not currently known how the process of resiliency affects an individual’s ability to prevent injury, one study found that physically active individuals who were debilitated were less likely to sustain an injury. Resilience has also been shown to positively affect physical and mental health, and may help to prevent common life-threatening complications and emergencies.

Common signs of stress

  • Headaches and other body pains
  • Difficulty in focusing
  • Unprecedented fatigue
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Rapid weight gain or loss
  • Poor short-term memory
  • Stiffness in the neck, jaws and other areas
  • Making poor choices

If you are struggling to manage daily stress and you are struggling to bounce back from difficulties or challenges, you are likely a candidate for resiliency therapy. The more you know about resilience and its benefits for your psychological well-being, the more likely you are to take advantage of its benefits. It may be your loved one who has found great success through this modality. If this is the case, consider your treatment options carefully and schedule an initial consultation with a psychologist or licensed therapist today. You never know, your loved one may just be the key to improving your own mental health and well-being.