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10 Ways to Boost Your Emotional Resilience, Backed by Research | TIME

Stashed in: @bakadesuyo, Self-Actualization

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Here’s how to increase your emotional resilience:

  • Foster optimism: Don’t be in denial. See the world clearly but believe in your abilities.
  • Face your fears: Hiding from fear makes it worse. Face it and you overcome it.
  • Have a moral compass: A strong feeling of right and wrong tells us we must when we feel we can’t.
  • Practice spirituality: Be a part of a group that has strong beliefs.
  • Give and receive social support: Tapping on the wall of your cell can keep you going.
  • Imitate resilient role models: Or have people you know you do notwant to be.
  • Physical fitness: Exercise adapts your body to stress.
  • Be a lifelong learner: Keep your brain sharp and it will give you solutions when you need them most.
  • Have a number of ways to cope: Be like Navy SEALs and Special Forces operators — and laugh.
  • Have meaning in your life: Don’t just do a job; have a calling and a purpose.

(I’ll be sending out a PDF summary from the research in my next weekly email. To make sure you don’t miss it, join here.)

And how can the downsides of life lead to a greater upside?

We hear a lot about PTSD: post-traumatic stress disorder. But we hear a lot less about the reverse: post-traumatic growth.

And it is real. Many people who experience hardships in life and get through them don’t come out weaker, they come out better.

From Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being:

In a month, 1,700 people reported at least one of these awful events, and they took our well-being tests as well. To our surprise, individuals who’d experienced one awful event had more intense strengths (and therefore higher well-being) than individuals who had none. Individuals who’d been through two awful events were stronger than individuals who had one, and individuals who had three— raped, tortured, and held captive for example— were stronger than those who had two.

So it sounds like Nietzsche was right: what does not kill you really canmake you stronger.

As one of the resilient people Southwick and Charney spoke to said:

I am more vulnerable than I thought, but much stronger than I ever imagined.

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