Building Resiliency in Recovery

How to Find Strength While Healing

Recovery can be a winding path. Finding ways to deal with the challenges that come from substance abuse can make your recovery journey more successful.

Building Resiliency In Recovery
Building Resiliency In Recovery

Building Resiliency in Recovery

How to Find Strength While Healing

Recovery can be a winding path. Finding ways to deal with the challenges that come from substance abuse can make your recovery journey more successful.

The information presented on this page is a general overview and is offered here as a comprehensive resource. At Ampelis Recovery, our programs are customized and tailored to the individual’s needs. Specific details below that cover treatment protocols may not reflect the protocols used for our clients.

If you would like to learn more about Ampelis Recovery and our customized programs for professional men, please do not hesitate to reach out.


What is Resiliency?

What is resilience? We define resiliency as the ability to adapt and press forward in the face of challenge and failure. Resiliency requires a high level of conviction and adaptability.1 Resilient people can recover from setbacks quickly and are better for having gone through them. Let us consider resiliency on three primary levels.


Cognitive resiliency is the ability to recover from trauma and stress mentally. For example, trauma changes the shape of the brain. A cognitively resilient individual’s brain heals and returns to normal quickly. The healing is possible due to the healthy coping mechanisms they use and practice to build their resolve.2 Furthermore, under duress, cognitively resilient people can maintain efficiency. Typically, productivity decreases as stress levels increase.


Behavioral resilience allows an individual to monitor their mental state and the mental state of those around them. A behavioral resilient individual exercises control over their own emotions. Resilience reduces negative thoughts and actively works to better them.3 Behavioral resiliency makes way for:

  • Adaptability
  • Long-term success
  • Critical thinking


Spiritual resiliency is the ability to maintain one’s sense of self and principles during stress. In this sense, spirituality and resilience widen to include a moral compass, intrinsic drive, and ideals. A person’s ability to not lose sight of themselves while undergoing trauma or defeat is key to recovery.4 Resilient people practice various forms of mental health and healthy coping mechanisms. Resiliency is a learned habit that can benefit anyone but especially those in recovery.4

Learn More About Healing the Brain

Coming Soon

  • Holistic Approach
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Positive Psychology

How Does Resiliency Help in Addiction Treatment?

Resiliency plays a vital role in all forms of addiction treatment. It is crucial to maintaining sobriety and for you to thrive. Here are the main ways resiliency helps during addiction treatment.5

Being Able to Face Adversity

Adversity affects all of us differently. The ability to understand how adversity affects an individual is a form of cognitive resilience. For someone in recovery, trouble can take many forms. Temptations, relapses, job hunting, and rebuilding relationships all pose unique and difficult challenges in recovery. Resiliency can help provide productive methods for overcoming them and moving on.6

Learning from the Past

The ability to learn from one’s past mistakes is a requirement in all walks of life. But for individuals in recovery, it takes on a dual meaning. Learning from the past is not just a matter of not repeating mistakes but also understanding why you made them. Learning from the past is a form of behavioral resilience. One of the best ways to learn behavioral resilience is in therapy to uncover addiction triggers and change them.7

Being Optimistic About Recovery

Recovery is the gateway to a better life. It is something that makes you optimistic. Optimism in recovery is the first step towards building a positive outlook on life. It requires a belief in yourself that you will overcome addiction.6

How to Build Resiliency

Learning resilience in recovery is not always easy. There are various methods to help build resiliency and overcome addictions.5

Keep Things in Perspective

Anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders can make every challenge seem dire. Even small setbacks can seem catastrophic. Being able to keep things in perspective is a necessary tool to overcome these challenges. Keeping things in perspective can be as simple as reminding yourself how far you’ve come, finding the positive of the situation, and remembering to understand that adversity is a part of life.5

Accept Change

Change is inevitable. Being able to accept things you cannot change is a great way to build adaptability and resilience. Accepting change is committing to your new environment or situation and letting go of the past.5

Be Hopeful

Maintaining hope for better days is a healthy coping mechanism. There are many ups and downs throughout life, and when you are down, it may feel like you will be stuck there. However, remaining hopeful makes the bad days easier to bear. Additionally, optimism is great for the brain and may lead to new solutions to reaching better days.5

Build Connections

Healthy relationships are a big part of mental health. Having a support system is needed for growth, validation, and help in general.5

Focus on Relationships

Building or repairing relationships takes time. Being patient with yourself and other individuals is necessary for healthy relationships to blossom. In terms of recovery, it is best to build relationships with people who do not have addiction problems or have been in stable recovery for years.5

Participate in Groups

Participating in groups is a great way to make new connections. Groups provide stable, structured social interactions while also providing a purpose. Groups can center around recovery, hobbies, religion, etc. Groups allow the chance to build meaningful connections.

Making new connections can be nerve-wracking. It is healthy to take new relationships slowly. Do not be afraid to wait until you find a healthy connection.5

Take Care of Yourself First

Taking care of yourself is needed before you can take care of anyone else. Here are a few tips for practicing mental wellness.8


Diet is a significant factor in your mental health. Eating well-balanced nutritious food helps your body and mind function better. A poor diet can lead to worsened mental illness and low energy levels. A healthy diet allows your brain to build more neural pathways and helps reduce mental fogginess. The new neural pathways better your chance of getting past negative thoughts. Eating well leads to better productivity, which in turn leads to heightened self-worth.8


Mindfulness, the practice of being aware, can help provide the tools you need to overcome mental illness and addiction. Mindful means being aware of your current surroundings and staying in the present moment. It is easy to lose sight of the present while worrying about a future problem or lamenting over a past setback. Mindfulness works to keep you in the here and now so you can solve problems as they arise.8

Taking care of yourself comes down to understand what makes you happy. For many people experiencing or creating art allows them to decompress. For others, it may be exercising. Picking up new hobbies and seeking a deeper understanding of yourself are some of the best ways to practice self-care.8

Find Purpose

Without purpose, we are all more susceptible to negative influences. We need a reason to go throughout our days. The reasons may vary between validation, children, outward success, etc. Finding your driving purpose is a vital component to experiencing the joys of life.9

Help Others

Service is a great way to find out what is important to you. Service also helps build self-esteem and fosters spirituality.9

Set Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals better helps you cope with defeat and success. When we set unrealistic goals, we set ourselves up for failure. And with failure comes negative thoughts and practices. It can help to set small goals that you can easily accomplish to help build self-esteem. This practice also enables you to get a better scale of what you can achieve and in what time frame. Suppose you are learning a new skill or pushing your limits. In that case, it is essential to be patient with yourself and allow time to develop and grow naturally.9

In the end, the goal of resiliency training is to help provide the tools needed to cope with life. Do not be discouraged if it takes time to get to where you want to be. Progress, even slow progress, is a constant step in the right direction.

Qualities Important to Resiliency

Resilient qualities break into categories based on their principles.


Integrity, characterized by the ability to hold oneself accountable, is crucial to building strong relationships. Integrity determines the level of trust in a relationship and shows the level of one’s convictions. Having integrity means that you understand and are committed to your principles. Integrity improves your spiritual resilience.11


Authenticity, the ability to be genuine in your thoughts, actions, and words, opens the door to trust and heightened self-worth. An authentic person is aware of their interest and actively pursues them. They are less likely to commit to things that do not interest or benefit them because they are truthful in their actions. Authentic people may build fewer connections, but the connections they do create are deep.12

Qualities from Mindfulness

Mindfulness is an almost entirely internal habit. Here are the most prevalent qualities mindfulness provides.


Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Mindfulness forces you to be aware of your limits and the consequences of your actions. This allows you to self-regulate bad situations and habits. This quality enables you to balance out your emotions and actions better.13


Persistence, even in the face of adversity, is a vital indicator of a resilient person—persistence ties into not giving up hope, maintaining a positive outlook, and working towards your goals. In terms of recovery, persistence is the drive to stay sober and rebuild one’s life.14

Healthy Habits

Healthy habits can take time to set in. It can help to monitor them with a journal or calendar. Healthy habits include diet, exercise, self-care, social outings, and even seclusion. Healthy habits are the building block for coping mechanisms and resilience.15

Qualities from Finding Purpose

Finding your purpose can provide several qualities tied to resilience. Here are the most common.


If you have not noticed, gratitude is a significant sign of resiliency. Actively practicing it betters mental health and overall success. Remember to look for the chance to be thankful anytime you can. It can help to write down things you are grateful for so you can revisit them during tough times.16


Hope, the ability to focus on a positive outcome, can be the difference between overcoming and staying stagnant. Some days you may feel more hopeful than others, and that is normal. Remember to focus on the big picture and take action, no matter how small, towards it.17


Being optimistic does not mean that you ignore adverse outcomes. It is about understanding that you will overcome obstacles and focusing on the positive in each challenge. Optimism is a tool for overcoming negative thoughts and finding complex solutions.18

How Can Addiction Treatment Programs Enhance Resiliency?

Addiction treatment programs can enhance resiliency. Here are some of the most common methods.

Make it a Focus of the Program

Addiction treatment programs that focus on resiliency training provide you with the tools needed to cope with setbacks. Furthermore, being surrounded by people practicing resiliency can give you a deeper understanding of what resiliency means for you while also providing a robust support system.


Therapy is a safe space to work through problems, find new solutions, and learn from past mistakes. Therapy centers around healthy coping mechanisms that can make all the difference during stressful situations.


Learning increases the brain’s ability to think. Education provided in recovery treatment can give you a deeper understanding of how addiction works and what you can do to fight it. Education also provides a structured setting with fewer variables to deal with.

Inspiring Resilience Quotes

Here are some resilience quotes that capture the feeling of overcoming.

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.”
– Steve Maraboli

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
– Japanese Proverb

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
– Helen Keller

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
– Confucius

These quotes answer the question, what is resilience? Save them and revisit them for future inspiration.

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