Traits of Resilient People

  • Awareness
  • An Internal Locus of Control
  • Strong Problem-Solving Skills
  • Having Strong Social Connections
  • Identifying as a Survivor, Not a Victim
  • Being Able to Ask for Help

Stress is more than a mental state. It is a physical state that triggers the release of hormones such as cortisol and initiates the fight-or-flight response. At one time, this reaction was crucial to survival. It gave humans the sudden rush of energy needed to escape or face danger. Today, many people spend prolonged amounts of time feeling stressed, and the same reactions that once saved lives now jeopardize physical health.

When individuals experience chronic stress arising from work, perceived responsibilities, relationships, and other triggers, it causes a physical chain reaction. In the mind, it can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. In the body, stress can cause gastrointestinal upset and raise blood pressure and blood sugar levels, increase the risk of a heart attack, and impact reproductive organs. It weakens the immune system and puts individuals at risk for chronic disease.

Stress is connected to so many adverse health outcomes that many preventive care providers are now focusing on the importance of stress reduction for physical and mental health. To lower stress levels, therapists use a range of calming and balancing techniques including:

  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness exercises
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MBCT)
  • Body-focused relaxation
  • Guided visualization

These techniques work in similar ways to retrain the brain to perceive and react to stress differently. Over time, they create new neural pathways, giving individuals the ability to manage stress into the future. At the Chicago Personal Growth Institute, our holistic treatment methods address both the mental and physical sides of stress to empower individuals and promote stress resiliency.