Why can some of us overcome life's greatest trials while others become burdened by the slightest setback? What factors help some adults bounce back from adversity while others languish in feelings of helplessness and hopelessness? And what exactly is the inner strength that some people simply exude in their daily lives? Such people possess a powerful quality called resilience. In this seminal work, two of America's foremost clinical psychologists explore the concept of resilience and show how it can be developed and strengthened.
The term resilience is often reserved for those who have overcome overwhelming obstacles. But in reality, each of us encounter stress every day, and no one knows when we may face unexpected hardship. According to Drs. Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein, a resilient mindset is helpful in every aspect of ordinary living, providing a foundation of emotional strength that sees us through both routine challenges and sudden problems. Working in turn, this positive mindset and the behaviors and skills they develop create a process that is constantly in operation, buoying us along. The main features that compose such a mindset include:
Feeling in control of one's life
Knowing how to fortify one's "stress hardiness"
Displaying effective communication and interpersonal capabilities
Establishing realistic goals and expectations
Learning from both success and failure
Feeling special (not self-centered) while helping others to feel the same
Moreover, mindsets can be changed. Part of this process is understanding the "negative scripts" that are barriers to change. These counterproductive ways of thinking can become so entrenched that they are difficult to deviate from. Once you can recognize these scripts and take responsibility for your actions, you open the door to more productive paths.
"[The Power of Resilience] does offer hope and a number of useful strategies readers can try to put into practice on their own." (Publishers Weekly)
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