How We Elicit What Happens to Us

Posted: October 21, 2019

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines resilience as "the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of stress.” Resilience can be examined from psychological, biological, economical, sociological, and other perspectives (Southwick, Bonanno, Masten, Panter-Brick, & Yehuda, 2014). Two core concepts of psychological resilience consist of adversity (e.g., stressors, ranging from daily hassles, bullying, harassing, to major life traumas) and healthy adaptation (mental coping and thriving despite disadvantage and adversity; Fletcher, & Sarkar, 2013).

A bit of common advice reiterated for enhancing psychological resilience involves the popular statement that, “It is not what happens to you, but how you think about (or react to) it.” Although this assertion is beneficial as a cognitive coping strategy in helping people focus on their reactions to the experienced adverse events for the purpose of alleviating depressionanxiety, and other maladaptation, this advice appears to only view the individuals as a receiver of negativities, but not as the persons who also bear certain responsibility for their unfavorable experiences.

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