We have all heard of that saying, but is it true?
In a study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Dr. Seery reports that people who had experienced some misfortune over the course of their lives, were more content with their lot in life and reported better mental health, then people with either a history of great adversity or having experienced no adversity at all.
It seems that a certain amount of adversity and tough times is necessary in order to develop our coping mechanisms. High levels of adversity however, overwhelm our coping ability and the result is a feeling of hopelessness, loss of control and mental health problems.
The conclusion of this study is that we all have enormous capability to develop our resilience and be resilient. This is in line with the research that we have carried out, and supports our findings that people can develop their resilience so as to not only cope better with tough times, but also to live their lives with zest, joy and happiness. This is encouraging for us all.
Seery, M. D., Holman, E. A., & Silver, R. C. (2010, October 11). Whatever Does Not Kill Us: Cumulative Lifetime Adversity, Vulnerability, and Resilience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0021344