- Mental Health
Adversity Does Make Us Stronger
Adversity: "What Does Not Destroy Me, Makes Me Stronger."
A Little Adversity Does Make Us Stronger
The German Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche is famous for his quote, “What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.” Given this, paradigm, the most commonly used term resilience has come to mean an individual's ability to overcome adversity and continue his or her normal development.
A recent study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found most people who had experienced a few events in their lives reported better mental health and well-being than people with a history of frequent adversity and people with no history of misfortune. This study focused on potential benefits of exposure to some adversity relative to no adversity.
This study shows that, under the right conditions, experiencing some adversity may foster resilience.
Dr. Michael Ungar, has suggested that resilience is better understood as follows: "In the context of exposure to significant adversity, resilience is both the capacity of individuals to navigate their way to the psychological, social, cultural, and physical resources that sustain their well-being, and their capacity individually and collectively to negotiate for these resources to be provided in culturally meaningful ways."
Adversity can help people develop a psychological immune system to help them cope with advertisities, while those with no experience of life’s slings and arrows, may have a hard time dealing with rough times. Too much adversity can create a feeling of hopelessness and loss of control.
Dr. Seery in the above mentioned study, says people who have experienced around two to four adverse events in their life-times appeared to be the best off.
Family and Social Network Key Components to Resiliency
Ann Masten, an expert in resilience, says that even if people are capable of adapting to adversity, it is still important to have community and social networks in place to help deal with the aftermath of adverse events. She says, “We do have enormous capacity for resilience, but that doesn’t mean horrible experiences are good for you.” The key is to utilize your resources of protective systems and know how to mobilize them when they are not present. Family and friends are a key component in developing resiliency.
The beginnings of my new book, “Yes Mother I do Remember,” http://hubpages.com/hub/Yes-Mom-I-do-Remember there is a given resiliency in my mother’s family that has provided a legacy for me to build on. The importance of family cannot be stressed enough in coping with adversity.
My Hereitage: Resiliency
My mother’s family had little financial resources. They traded a cow for a car to leave Wainright , Arkansas. Despite the constant breakdowns, they had each other to rely and made it to California. California was the land of dreams. The adversities they faced united them in their common goals.
Now, the survivors are successful both in terms of owning “things” and their children that share in their own success as community leaders, and productive citizens.
For "REAL LIFE" examples of "resiliency," see up close and personal my mother's family struggles for survival and how they thrived during and after the great depression:
More Life Exploration Where I Did it, Rather Than Wishing I had Done it!