Psychological Space: The Heart of Resilience

Psychological space - a mental retreat where you can go to reflect, to heal yourself, and to take on new perspectives and allow yourself to grow.
Psychological Space: The Heart of Resilience
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Psychological space is a dimension that you often neglect. However, you shouldn’t ignore it. Because it’s this space that allows you to learn from your experiences and to adopt a resilient attitude.

Psychological space is a waiting room, a mental retreat where you can go to reflect, heal yourself, and take on new perspectives. It’s a place you can go to after experiencing a mistake, a failure, or a disappointment. In fact, allowing yourself psychological space is a good habit to acquire, as it means you allow yourself enough time for introspection. This lays the foundations of resilience, which helps you move forward with greater security.

Psychological space: origins

Carl Jung said that if you don’t learn anything from the unpleasant experiences in your life, you force your cosmic consciousness to reproduce them as many times as necessary in order that you learn. However, we can’t exactly prove that this ‘cosmic force’ exists. Nevertheless, what we do know is that we’re a curious species, one that repeatedly makes the same mistakes.

When you repeat your mistakes, it’s because you’re not giving yourself enough psychological space. In fact, you often don’t allow yourself enough time to process and integrate certain of your personal experiences. Life tends to shatter from time to time and, instead of repairing those shards, or putting the loose pieces back together again, you let them slip away. In fact, you gradually disconnect yourself from your internal needs until you suddenly find yourself feeling extremely frustrated and unhappy.

Abraham Maslow, one of the most relevant psychologists in the field of personal growth, used to say that in your daily life you have two options. The first is to live under the cover of fear and defense mechanisms. The second is to opt for growth. Choosing one path or another is something that you must decide from within your own psychological space.

Psychological space, a great defense mechanism

Psychological space

Psychological space isn’t a physical place, it’s a mental refuge. It’s that time you give yourself to process your failures, mistakes, or disappointments and to understand that you can learn from them. It also means that you’re able to shape a series of dimensions that enable you to psychologically heal.

Here are the components of good psychological space:

Compassion for yourself

Compassion for yourself is the ability to accept yourself. It means you don’t punish or despise yourself for certain things you’ve done. As a matter of fact, the University of Tennessee conducted a study that revealed that developing this capacity is key to gaining emotional well-being. However, the more stress you experience, the more you forget this positive attitude towards yourself.

All psychological space requires this special component. It’s a place where you can be yourself without being judged or sanctioned.

Negative dialogue is forbidden

Negative dialogue can’t be tolerated in any growth-oriented psychological space. Indeed, there’s no room for feelings of reproach, doom, lack, and fear. As a matter of fact, negative dialogue can erode and sweep away all that you’ve managed to build in your psychological space.

If you really want to learn from your failures, negative dialogue is of no use at all. On the contrary, you must apply an objective and forward-looking approach. In this respect, there are certain questions that can be useful. For example, ask yourself what conclusions you can draw from what happened. Also, what should you do so that you can face tomorrow with better resources in order to be successful?

Learning from mistakes is important to protect a psychological space

Focus on the present

The laws of physics state that you can’t be in two places at the same time. Focusing on the future is useless because you know nothing about it. In fact, if you really want to overcome the complex circumstances of every day, only one approach is valid: one that’s centered on the present.

Reflect, analyze, reel yourself back in, accept, decide, plan, and come up with some answers. These answers will carry greater validity than any created outside your psychological space.

A resilient attitude

In your psychological space, you need to find a kind of alloy with which you can coat every fragment, every corner, and every detail of yourself. By this, we mean resilience.

You need to learn from what you’ve lived, or experienced. Then, you’ll be able to face tomorrow with greater integrity. Wisdom and strength are key aspects of any inner healing process. Furthermore, resilience is a key factor that protects the progress you’ve gained in your personal growth. It also helps you to better choose what future path you ought to take.

A resilient attitude is vital for maintaining a psychological space

Finally, there’s one more point to mention. Dr. Stephen Sideroff, writer, researcher, and professor of psychiatry at the University of Los Angeles claims that we’re currently experiencing what many define as a biological imbalance. This is something that you must learn to work on.

This biological imbalance refers to the fact that, when experiencing stress, anguish, fear, or worry, your body is programmed to generate two types of responses: fight or flight from danger.

Nevertheless, in the world today, these two behaviors don’t always have a place. You’re therefore obliged to generate more suitable and also creative responses. Therefore, it’s not worth trying to escape or fight. Because most of your perceived threats are entirely mental.

For this reason, you must shape more valid strategies. All of these pass through your psychological space. That corner of solitude that you often neglect. It offers shelter whenever you need it in order to integrate your experiences, heal, repair, and make valuable decisions.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.