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If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger and improves your life

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Adverse situations challenge any one who experiences them. How we move through that adversity will determine the quality of our future life. Some will get over the episode, even something as heartbreaking as the loss of a loved one, by letting time dim the pain. Others will never fully recover and be hindered by the weight of their depression.

For a third group of survivors, they take a negative experience to a different level. They experience the adversity as an opportunity and grow personally. Their lives may take on new meaning and they feel stronger and more capable than before the negative event occurred.

A new study out of the Basic Psychology Unit at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona analyzed surveys from 254 students. Researchers evaluated the students’ level of satisfaction with life and found connections between their resilience and their capacity for emotional recovery. This has been identified as one of the components of emotional intelligence and consists of the ability to control one’s emotions.

Students who were more resilient were more satisfied with their lives and also believed they had control of their emotions and their state of mind. Resilience is key to satisfaction with life.

“Some characteristics of being resilient can be worked on and improved, such as self-esteem and being able to regulate one’s emotions. Learning these techniques can offer people the resources needed to help them adapt and improve their quality of life,” explains Dr. Joaquin T. Limonero, professor of the UAB Research Group on Stress and Health at UAB and coordinator of the research.

Source: ScienceDaily, Behavioral Psychology

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