Can You Run Out of Resilience?

When going through life’s hardships, you need to be strong and resilient to get yourself back on the right track. Think of resilience as something that grabs your hand and helps you stand up after you’ve fallen. If you have no resilience, it might take more time and effort on your part to be able to get back up off the ground. But, if there is a will, there is a way.

You can run out of resilience if something sudden and traumatizing happens to you or your community that is hard to recover from. You can also lose resilience over time from a build-up of setbacks. Depending on if you’re sensitive or strong-minded, your resilience can decline at different rates.

Read on to learn some reasons why one might run out of emotional, physical, or community resilience and how not having any resilience may affect you. You can also find some helpful tips on how you can rebuild your resilience so you can recuperate from life’s downturns, as well as signs that show it is recovering.

Reasons Why You Might Run Out of Resilience

Resilience is a trait that fluctuates throughout your life rather than being fixed; you can run out of emotional, physical, or community resilience after a sudden traumatic event, or over time if you aren’t healthily coping with life’s obstacles. A more inviolable persons’ resilience might decline slower than someone who is sensitive or self-doubting. 

Emotional Resilience

Emotionally sensitive people are more likely to run out of resilience when dealing with life’s difficulties because they tend to get stuck in their feelings and dwell on the negatives rather than learning to cope. A sudden death in the family, being laid off from your job, or going through a rough breakup could all be reasons why someone’s emotional resilience might decrease.

Emotional workers might also experience a lack of emotional resilience as they become stressed or desensitized due to repressing their emotions for their profession and burnt out from the extent of the emotional labor. A comparative study conducted by the NCBI shows that those who are more stressed and feel the most burnt-out have the lowest emotional resilience.

Physical Resilience

Those who are older, have chronic illnesses like immune disorders, or have been through an accident are more likely to run out of physical resilience because they have a more difficult time functioning and meeting physical demands. Trying to do simple tasks is sometimes painful and exhausting for these individuals, so they begin to believe they are physically incapable.

Community Resilience

Communities that have been affected by natural disasters, economic collapses, or acts of violence are more likely to run out of community resilience because of the negative impact on their lives. Natural disasters and an economic collapse can destroy businesses, causing unemployment and bankruptcy. Acts of violence can cause lasting emotional trauma.

What Happens When You Have No Resilience?

When you run out of resilience, you might feel as if you’ve hit rock bottom. Your physical and mental health can take a harsh hit when your resilience is off balance with no effort to improve it, and you might notice your loved ones being affected by your struggles as well. Listed below are some behaviors and occurrences you might expect when you have run out of resilience.

Characteristics of someone with no resilience:

  • Moodiness: Without resilience, you can be quick to anger, easily brought to tears, or overreactive to minor hindrances throughout your day.
  • Sleeplessness: If you have no resilience, you might find yourself struggling to get to sleep at night. This trait can result in drowsiness the next day and worsen moodiness.
  • Forgetfulness: Without resilience, you can have poor memory. You might forget appointments and get-togethers or where your phone is despite just having it in your hand.
  • Weakened immune system: If you have no resilience, you might be at higher risk of getting sick because you aren’t taking care of yourself as you should be.
  • Independency or codependency: Without resilience, you can either isolate yourself from others or cling to your friends and family and get upset when you’re alone.

How You Can Rebuild Your Resilience

Running out of resilience is disheartening and can put you in a rough place, but with time and effort, you can build yourself back up to be happy and healthy again. Having resilience can help you spring back no matter what life throws at you. You can rebuild your resilience by caring for yourself, thinking positively, leaning on your support, and trying your best.

Take Care of Yourself

Self-care is the most crucial aspect of rebuilding your resilience because it can keep you healthy. You should remember to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and sleep. Eating healthy can energize you, preventing you from feeling sluggish all day. Exercising every day can help improve your sleep patterns, and getting a good night’s sleep can help boost your mood.

Become Self-Aware

Taking a deep dive into your qualities and flaws can help rebuild your resilience because it can teach you what you need to improve about yourself. You can adapt and overcome your weaknesses and flourish. Sincerely ask those you trust what behaviors you show that should be changed, and keep a journal to keep track of progress.

Reformulate Your Thoughts

Changing your outlook on life can improve your resilience because it can teach you to think realistically and more positively rather than blowing things out of proportion and being down on yourself for it. Think one step at a time instead of stressing over the big picture, and you will begin to gain more confidence in yourself. Turn “What if I can’t?” into “What if I can?”

Maintain Supportive Relationships

Keeping trustworthy people around who you can talk with about hard times can help you regain your resilience because it can relieve your mind of stress to let out your problems rather than bottle them up inside. Plus, you get to be there for them when they are in need to return the favor. If your so-called friends only want to bring you down, it’s time to find some new company.

Find A Purpose

Finding a reason to piece yourself back together is another essential step to rebuilding your resilience. When you have something to look forward to, you are motivated to change your life. You can set goals for yourself every day so you can accomplish something, no matter the size. You can also spend time doing things you love, like your favorite hobbies.

Try Your Best

When you’re on a journey to rebuilding your resilience, you should remember that resilience isn’t about pushing yourself past your limits or overexerting yourself. Also, try to stay focused on things you can control to avoid being overwhelmed. Like building a house, building resilience isn’t a quick and straightforward process, so you should take it slow and try your best.

Signs Your Resilience Is Recovering

After working to rebuild your resilience, you can look back on how you felt then compared to now to see how much you’ve progressed. Some signs that show your resilience is recovering are: you are able to understand yourself and your limits, you have adapted your weaknesses so you can breeze through stressful situations, and you can help others.

You Are in Tune with Yourself

When you are resilient, you have a better understanding of yourself. You can control your emotions rather than having explosive mood swings. You can recognize your own achievements as well as the areas you need improvement on, without berating yourself for not being perfect. You are able to test your limits without going too far and exhausting yourself.

You Show Improvement

The best way you can see how your resilience is recovering is to notice your improvements. If you are resilient, you believe in yourself and your work without second-guessing your abilities. You can make realistic plans and have excellent problem-solving skills. You no longer have destructive thoughts and unhealthy coping mechanisms, so you deal with stress the right way.

You Are Contributory

When your resilience is healing, you might notice that it’s easier for you to help others rather than solely being helped. Not only is being there for your supporters a good factor in resilience, but it also shows that you are a fantastic friend. Being compassionate and empathetic will result in strong, lasting friendships. You are also a good communicator when resilient.


There are many reasons why one might run out of resilience; they might have gone through something emotionally, physically, or collectively traumatic. Sudden events may cause you to run out of resilience more quickly than those who have experienced setbacks over a long time. Rebuilding resilience takes will and patience but is rewarding when you see your improvements.

Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article. 

Copyright Notice

These works are protected by copyright laws and treaties around the world. We grant to you a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, revocable licence to view these works, to copy and store these works and to print pages of these works for your own personal and non-commercial use. You may not reproduce in any format any part of the works without our prior written consent.  

Copyright © 2022


Everyday Health

US Department of Veteran Affairs

Gov Loop

Bounce Back Project

Harvard Business Review



Very Well Mind

Mayo Clinic