Barriers To Resilience

Barriers to resilience

Barriers To Resilience

There is an easy way to structure our thinking around health and dis-ease….what do I need to add more of, and, what do I need to remove (reduce) in order to heal?

According to Najjia Mahmoud, and, David Rothenberger who authored the paper ‘From Burnout To Well-being: A focus on resilience’ the five most common barriers to resilience include:

An imbalance between work and personal life.

Overexposure to stressful events.

Insufficient time and space to process negative feelings.

Humiliating experiences.

Social isolation.

So which one of these seems most relevant for you? And what comes to mind as a strategy to improve upon it?

The most obvious strategies that come to mind include:

Looking to start a hobby – can you carve out 30 minutes a week for a guitar lesson, or can you optimise your use of your commute as the first step?

A ‘restorative technique’ to help modulate our stress response such a tai chi, yoga, time in nature, breath work – the list is endless and it’s important its something that resonates with you.

Journalling to help process your thoughts and feelings – there is a wealth of research confirming the effectiveness of this.

Looking for a club to join, whether a sports club, reading club or starting a hobby with a friend. Community is essential to our health.

Linked to the concept of an imbalance between work and persona being a barrier to resilience, the authors highlight an incredibly important concept with in this paper: ‘self-complexity’.

The concept of “self-complexity” is linked strongly to resilience and well-being. While a sense of “belonging” and community is associated with better well-being through shared experience, the ability to self-identify in a variety of ways—for example, gardener, father, mother, cyclist, traveler, music lover—is strongly correlated with emotional resilience. The occasional negative experience of one aspect of the self is balanced by the positive reinforcement created by success and community elsewhere in other arenas of experience.

Does this resonate? Or does someone come to mind who perhaps needs to consider complicating themselves? ;0)

Finally, Dr. Ken Ginsburg and Dr. Anthony Rostain, clinicians at the University of Pennsylvania, who specifically study the role of individual and organizational attributes contributing to burnout, frame factors contributing to well-being as the “7 C’s” of resilience: control, competence, confidence, contribution, coping, connection, and character. Effective interventions promoting resilience should ideally positively impact one or more of these factors.

A great book to read on resilience includes ‘Resilient‘ by Rick Hanson. Check out my other recommended reads here.

Until next time, sending you love and peace,


Alex Manos Profile 2015 AM Logo scaled

Alex is a certified Functional Medicine Practitioner (IFMCP) and has a MSc in Personalised Nutrition. He is also a breathwork facilitator with a background in personal training and massage therapy. He also runs The Resiliency Program - a 24 week program aimed at building physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual resilience.

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