bamboo is known for resilience

Wellness, Resiliency, and the Good Life

There has been a great deal of news lately about wellness. As a nation, we are not the healthiest (the Netherlands holds that distinction this year), but we are the most fanatical about health news. Would that this fanaticism could make us a healthier nation – resiliency may be the key.

Resilience is a body’s ability to bounce back after stress, injury, adversity or loss. We develop resiliency as we grow. “Those who master resilience tend to be skilled in preparing for emotional emergencies and adept at accepting what comes at them with flexibility rather than rigidity.” ( The article goes on to site ten traits of emotionally resilient people:

  1. They know their boundaries.
  2. They keep good company.
  3. They cultivate self-awareness.
  4. They practice acceptance.
  5. They’re willing to sit in silence.
  6. They don’t have to have all the answers.
  7. They have a menu of self-care habits.
  8. They enlist their team.
  9. They consider the possibilities.
  10. They get out of their head.

Any wellness coach will tell you that these are all traits of healthy people. Each trait on this list brings its unique benefits, together they create a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

These character traits, as it turns out, are fairly common to wellness, success, and happiness. Everyone from Forbes Magazine to The Dalai Lama to Carl Jung seems to offer up a similar list.

Check out Jung’s Five Key Elements to Happiness.

  1. Good physical and mental health. (Relates to #1, 3, 7 on the resilience list)
  2. Good personal and intimate relationships, such as those of marriage, the family, and friendships. (#2!)
  3. The faculty for perceiving beauty in art and nature. (#10)
  4. Reasonable standards of living and satisfactory work. (#2, 3 ,4, 6?)
  5. A philosophic or religious point of view capable of coping successfully with the vicissitudes of life. (This is resiliency!)(

Forbes lists the ten golden rules for the good life. Check out the first five and you’ll see the pattern and its relationship to resilience:

  1. Examine life, engage life with vengeance; always search for new pleasures and new destines to reach with your mind.
  2. Worry only about the things that are in your control, the things that can be influenced and changed by your actions, not about the things that are beyond your capacity to direct or alter.
  3. Treasure Friendship, the reciprocal attachment that fills the need for affiliation.
  4. Experience True Pleasure.
  5. Master Yourself.


Resilience, happiness, and the good life all add up to mental health, one of the greatest contributing factors to physical health.

Proost! (Cheers, in Dutch)