Why is it that some people can bounce back from a tough event, while others never quite seem to get their mojo back? While it's true that resilience comes more easily to some of us than others, the good news is that anybody can learn to be more emotionally hardy.
Resilience -- the capacity to respond and recover when life wallops you upside the head -- is a pretty essential ability to have, especially in these unpredictable times. Being able to handle minor daily setbacks helps prime you for bigger-picture curveballs such as a job loss or the death of a loved one. "We need stress to grow," explains resilience expert Mary Steinhardt, EdD, professor of health education at the University of Texas at Austin. "It's like working out: You're not going to get stronger unless you stress the muscle. And if you don't work out, you'll atrophy."
It seems what doesn't kill you does make you stronger. A recent study from the University at Buffalo found that people with chronic back pain were able to get around better if they had experienced serious adversity (such as illness, divorce, or living through a natural disaster), whereas folks who had sailed through life without any major problems became more impaired. Super resilient people, it turns out, do five things right—and these are skills anyone can learn. Ahead, the moves that make all the difference.
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