Life’s Hard Knocks Make You Stronger

No one know’s how they’ll deal with adversity until after the fact. Some sink, but many swim and reach the shore wiser and more resilient. Why? Even researchers are stymied as they continue to explore the genetic angle, personality, as well as the frequency factor.

Roxane Cohen Silver, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine has determined that “Frequency makes a difference: that is the message.” She says:  “Each negative event a person faces leads to an attempt to cope, which forces people to learn about their own capabilities, about their support networks — to learn who their real friends are. That kind of learning, we think, is extremely valuable for subsequent coping.”

A recent study published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, finds that mental toughness can be achieved via the same means as physical strength – through exercise. And when overworked it breaks down.

According to Dr. Mark Seery of the State University at Buffalo, “The people in the study who recalled zero or one negative events were worse off than those with some adverse events”.

So although you don’t realize it at the time, there’s usually a silver lining to every cloud… that may very well soften the blows.

06. January 2011 by Ruth Folger Weiss
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