Adversity makes you stronger


“If it doesn’t kill you it will make you stronger.” It’s true. Hard experiences may not only toughen you up, but give you experience to handle future adversity. Psychological scientists have found that, while going through many experiences like assault, hurricanes, and bereavement can psychologically damaging, small amount of trauma help build resilience.

There are solid reports that traumatic events do adversely affect a person - conditions like post-traumatic stress syndrome are evidence of that. Psychological problems can come from the death of a child or parent, a natural disaster, being physically attacked, experiencing sexual abuse, or being separated from family. Some research has even suggested that avoiding traumatic situations is preferable to experiencing trauma. Mark D. Seery of the University at Buffalo says that is not only unrealistic but also unhealthy.

Seery found that, yes, traumatized individuals lead stressful lives, but so do people who have no trauma at all. The best outcomes are found in those people who have had small trauma and know how to handle future challenges. The people who really suffer are those with intense traumatic events or no events at all. “The idea is that negative life experiences can toughen people, making them better abel to manage subsequent difficulties,” Seery says. Also, people who get through a stressful event know who they can turn to for help.

Still, no one is saying to invite stress. “Negative events have negative effects,” Seery concludes. “I really look at this as being a silver lining. Just because something bad has happened to someone doesn’t mean they’re doomed to be damaged from that point on.”

Source: Psychological Science, MedicalNewsToday


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