Resilience is so much more than just recovering, or “bouncing back,” after a difficult experience. The medical model of recovery (usually applied to illness) emphasizes a return to the prior “normal” condition. A goal of going back is not only unrealistic... it's tremendously limiting!
The mind and body are designed to change and adapt to life - not just to return to a prior state of being. The essence of resilience is the ability to adapt and problem solve during stressful times; sustain a sense of meaning and purpose in the face of challenge; and most importantly, grow and develop as a result of our experiences.
Ironically, it is often the difficult moments in life that give rise to personal growth, awaken strengths, and foster connections. Resilience is about transforming suffering into meaning. Viktor Frankl famously wrote, "suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning." The new science of stress suggests growth and distress are not mutually exclusive - they are, in fact, intimately connected!