Resiliency: Bouncing Back from Adversity
First, let me say that bouncing back may seem a little euphemistic when talking about facing adversity. However, let’s take the analogy of a ball – the most obvious thing that bounces. When the ball is full of air, it bounces back sharply and quickly when it hits something hard like the ground.
Depending on the extent of the problem you’re facing and how you are doing emotionally and cognitively at the time, you might recover quickly, too, when you run into a hard spot in life.
When the ball is low on air, what happens? It hits the ground with a thud and stays there until it is filled with air again. So you might also have times like this in your life when you feel completely deflated and it takes awhile for you to get enough energy to get up off the ground.
And finally, what happens when the ball is full of air and bouncy, but hits a rock on the ground? It caroms wildly off to the side on an unexpected path. Ever feel like this has happened to you?
You get the picture. Bouncing back comes in all shapes, sizes, and experiences. We’ll be exploring them here on this blog with topics that include:
- Acceptance – the art of being realistic about what is happening in your world – both good and bad.
- Social support – generating and accepting help and emotional support from others.
- Gaining perspective – learning to look at life and adversity from a variety of angles.
- Finding gifts – the sand that irritates the oyster often becomes a pearl.
- Learning lessons – the best lessons for growth often come from life’s rough spots.
Of course, there is much more to resiliency, but the list above encapsulates some of the major themes.
We’ll also explore what the burgeoning literature on resiliency brings to the table. From pioneering resiliency researchers Emmy Werner and Ruth Smith to the prolific Ann Masten to controversial George Bonanno, we’ll look at evidence-based studies regarding resilience and best practices for developing it.
Have questions about resiliency and bouncing back? Make sure to ask me in the comments section and I will be sure to find an answer for you.
I look forward to learning with you how to put more bounce into our lives!
Emel, B. (2011). Resiliency: Bouncing Back from Adversity. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 29, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bounce-back/2011/12/resiliency-bouncing-back-from-adversity/