At the Tip of Your Fingers: 10 Tips for Building Resilience

Resilience is the Key

One of IPRS Health’s driving passions as a business, is empowerment of the people it works with. ‘Be the master of your own journey’ is a phrase I use, and I am always keen to emphasise the role that patients play in their own health. No physio has magic hands; despite what you may have been told in the past! The patients that get better faster are those that take responsibility for, and ownership of, their injuries; and who work WITH the clinician to set out realistic goals and a plan of attack with regards to rehabilitation. With this in mind the first concept I want to introduce here is ‘Resilience’. Resilience is defined as:

“A person’s capacity to respond to pressure and cope with the demands of daily life.”


Resilience encompasses your mental and physical resilience and the two work together to form your overall resilience. A person who has resilience accepts what life throws at them with flexibility, rather than rigidity. Both your physical and mental resilience are not passive concepts, but can be actively improved by one’s own behaviours and beliefs.

Here are IPRS Health’s top tips of how to develop your own psychological resilience:

  1. Keep good company. Cherish social support and interaction.

  2. Learn how to reach out for help, and also to serve as a listening ear.

  3. Treat problems as a learning process.

  4. Practice acceptance. Stress, change and pain are part of life. Healing takes time.

  5. Celebrate your successes and nurture a positive view of yourself.

  6. Take positive action. This provides a sense of control, even if it doesn’t remove the difficulty.

  7. Practise optimism. Nothing is either wholly good or bad.

These are all great points and by improving your psychological resilience, you can actually reduce the amount of pain you experience, as well as reduce the time you are in pain for!

Physical resilience can be improved through movement variability, which is the exposure of your body to lots of different movement patterns. It is vital to make sure you move in lots of different ways, so that when you encounter a situation you are not used to, it’s no surprise. The old ‘rigid’ way of moving at work in fixed patterns is long out-dated in health research.

Another way to improve your physical resilience is to become physically stronger. Although strong people still get injured, if you are strong enough to cope with the demands of your everyday work, you are less likely to ‘overload’ a specific muscle group. Gradually increasing your exposure to new tasks and job roles is a great way to ramp up your physical resilience, and not risk an overload injury.

So, let’s recap the 3 key physical resilience factors:

  1. Being strong enough to cope with the demands of your job role.

  2. Practising movement variability regularly.

  3. Gradual exposure to new roles, tasks and loads.

If you have any questions, or would like some more advice please do not hesitate to contact IPRS Health.

And remember – we are all stronger and more robust than we think!

Thanks for reading.

Ash James – IPRS Health Clinical Lead