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  • Writer's pictureJustin Tilghman, Ph.D.

Building Resilience in a Chaotic World

Resilience is more than just a buzzword; it's a critical skill set that can help you navigate the ups and downs of life with grace and poise. Whether you're facing personal challenges, work-related stress, or societal upheavals, resilience can be your secret weapon for maintaining your well-being and achieving your goals. In this blog post, we'll delve into the science of building resilience and offer practical tips that you can incorporate into your daily life.

A lone tree in the desert.

What is Resilience?

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity and adapt to challenging situations. It's not about avoiding difficulties but rather learning how to deal with them effectively. Resilient individuals are better equipped to handle stress, recover from setbacks, and adapt to change.

The Science Behind Resilience

Research on resilience has gained momentum in recent years, particularly in the context of recent global challenges like pandemics, climate change, and economic crises. A study by Djalante, Shaw, and Dewit suggests that current mechanisms and strategies for disaster resilience can enhance responses to epidemics or global pandemics like COVID-19 (1). Another study by Carmen et al. focuses on the role of social capital in building community resilience in the context of climate change (2).

Key Factors for Building Resilience

  1. Self-Awareness: Understanding your strengths and weaknesses can help you navigate challenges more effectively.

  2. Social Support: A strong support network can provide emotional sustenance and practical help during tough times.

  3. Positive Mindset: Optimism and a positive outlook can significantly impact how you handle stress and adversity.

  4. Problem-Solving Skills: Being able to think critically and come up with solutions is crucial for resilience.

  5. Adaptability: The ability to adapt to new situations and be flexible in your approach is key to resilience.

Practical Tips for Building Resilience

Develop Emotional Intelligence

Understanding your emotions and how they impact your behavior is the first step in building resilience. Practice mindfulness techniques to become more aware of your emotional triggers and responses.

Foster Strong Relationships

Don't underestimate the power of a strong social network. Surround yourself with people who uplift you and provide emotional support. Make time for family and friends, and don't hesitate to seek professional help if needed.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting achievable goals gives you something to strive for and helps you stay focused. Break down larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps and celebrate your achievements along the way.

Embrace Change

Change is inevitable, and the sooner you learn to adapt, the better. Whether it's a job change, a move to a new city, or a shift in your personal circumstances, embracing change can make the transition smoother and less stressful.

Practice Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is not selfish; it's essential for resilience. Exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and engage in activities that bring you joy.

Final Thoughts

Building resilience is a lifelong journey, but the rewards are well worth the effort. By incorporating these science-backed strategies into your daily life, you can become more resilient and better equipped to handle whatever challenges come your way.

  1. Djalante, R., Shaw, R., & Dewit, A. (2020). Building resilience against biological hazards and pandemics: COVID-19 and its implications for the Sendai Framework. Link

  2. Carmen, E., Fazey, I., Ross, H., Bedinger, M., Smith, F. M., Prager, K., McClymont, K., & Morrison, D. (2022). Building community resilience in a context of climate change: The role of social capital. Link


Dr. Justin Tilghman is a board-certified life and master mental health coach who specializes in helping clients live purposeful, meaningful, fulfilling, and balanced lives that make the most of their God-given potential. He is also a Fellow Member of the Institute of Coaching, McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate.


Justin is a Board Certified Advanced Life Coach with the Board of Christian Life Coaching, a division of the International Board of Christian Care and the American Association of Christian Counselors. He has demonstrated knowledge and application of biblical integration in coaching, the ICCA and ICF Core Competencies, the Code of Ethics, and the ICF definition of coaching.


Justin is a Board Certified Master Mental Health Coach with the Board of Mental Health Coaching, a division of the International Board of Christian Care and the American Association of Christian Counselors. He has demonstrated knowledge and application of biblical integration in providing ethical and competent mental health coaching.

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