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  • Writer's pictureYamit Armbrister

Why Is Resilience So Popular Today?

We live in a world of trends that certainly did not start only in our era, because people tend to follow, copy, and be attracted to what the majority seems to think, like or do. Most often it is a social influence whether positive or negative.

On the one hand, it gives us a sense of belonging, to a community that we value, to a certain mindset that matches our mindset or feelings. Sometimes it creates a kind of status or identity and sometimes it is simply a desire not to be left behind, to be part of what is considered advanced. People that follow most trends don't want to miss the opportunity to be part of something from its inception.

The preoccupation with mental resilience has increased considerably since COVID-19 crisis, and for a good reason. It has become more popular in the public sector as well as in the business sector. In the article, "Why resilience is the word for 2021?" Professor Brian Robinson mentioned that the word resilience was voted the most used word in phrase games in 2021. That reflects the thoughts, mindset, and feelings of the time.

Are people less resilient than in the past?

It would be challenging, if not impossible, to make such a statement for many reasons.

Mental resilience is a very complex topic because it is an ability or skill that depends on many different circumstances, ranging from culture, extreme events, innate and acquired character traits, environmental events and much more. Second, it is very difficult to measure and quantify resilience on a scientific and precise scale. Third, it is extremely difficult to predict with mathematical accuracy how a person or a group will truly react in times of crisis, no matter the period of history we are examining. Fourth, but not last, the increased preoccupation with resilience does not indicate that people are less resilient today than in the past.

Why is the practice of resilience so popular today?

Life has always been unpredictable, and surely, uncertainty must have always occupied people. Every period in the history of mankind has contained complex challenges and difficulties that have required people to have great levels of resilience in the face of the crises they faced.

If anything, the focus and popularity of resilience today can attest to a high awareness and recognition of the importance of mental resilience, from the micro level of the individual to the macro level of the community, the state, the organization and the world as a whole. That suggests that the preoccupation with resilience does not necessarily stem from thinking that people today are less resilient but to the higher awareness levels.

That goes hand in hand with the rise of mental health awareness, as resilience stands out as a protective factor, therefore many people are looking to improve their resilience for their overall mental well-being.

So, is anything harder today than in the past?

Quite a few psychologists and researchers argue that certain factors in modern society may nevertheless pose challenges to our resilience. For example, one of the factors in our era is the rapid technological progress and excessive use of social media. This, they claim, contributes to increased levels of stress and anxiety, and a decrease in coping mechanisms for some people. The constant exposure to news, local and global, and the lack of trust in the reliability of information also affects our mental health and resilience.

It is difficult to declare that people in the past were not competitive or had personal ambitions, but there is no doubt that we live in an age of very high expectations of people, fierce competition, focus on instant gratification and the pleasures of life and self-realization that can also lead to negative consequences of helplessness, confusion, and tremendous stress.

In Summary

These are merely a few factors that present us with challenges to resilience, on top of other factors ranging from terrorism, wars, economy, pandemics, environment and natural disasters, political instability, a sense of loneliness and connectedness and more.

What is important to remember is that recognition, awareness, engagement and focus on resilience are welcome. Moreover, we must not forget that humans have always shown resilience throughout history, adapted, and overcome many difficulties. We are no different than our ancestors through human history. The current focus on resilience can be seen as a positive response to the evolving complexities of the modern world. Engaging in resilience can only improve our ability to better cope with life's challenges so we can continue and thrive despite current hardships.


Ph.D., B. E. (2020, December 15). Why "Resilience" Is the Word for 2021. Retrieved from Psychology Today:

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