When resilience are based on the common


When a person develops from episodes of illness,
separation or despair, they are as thought to be born again, new skin, with a more
sense of joyfulness. The deeper the sorrow, which carves into your being, the
more joy you can contain. This doesn’t mean that we should welcome suffering,
or purposely seek it out. But when it does appear in our lives, we should be
aware that, beneath its negative surface, there is an opportunity for growth
and deepening. If there was no suffering in life, we wouldn’t be able to
appreciate blessings, after such turmoil. Many of us have our own argument on
suffering and how we overcome it, but today, you find many people overcoming
detrimental situations. Most, find it difficult to face and overcome, but many
find it as a life lesson, that is being taught daily, how can we become a
better version of ourselves, if we don’t have some downfalls along the way.
Suffering teaches us, which impacts resilience.

 During 2005, the
reviews and research studies identified populations regarding development in
suffering due to challenges faced, such as studies conducted in the US as well
as international research. Regarding specific studies describing intervention
design and implementation, the process of putting a plan or decision in effect.
“Few interventions focused on adults with designed evaluations, identified,
most of inferior quality lacking rigorous design, implementation, or
evaluations. Furthermore, most studies described interventions in development
or in informal settings with very small study populations, supplemented with
discussions focused on strategies. These forms could be effective in this area
rather than programmatic elements per selected studies with smaller study
samples that demonstrated promise were included for completion. Tools designed
to measure resilience are based on the common characteristics aligned with
these definitions.  A comprehensive
review of resilience scales suggested that the Brief Resilience Scale, Connor –
Davidson Resilience Scale and Resilience Scale for Adults potentially have the
best psychometric ratings and strongest measurement qualities of those studied.”
(MacLeod, Musich, Hawkins & Alsgarrd, 2016).

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             So how does suffering impact
resilience?  I have my own experiences to
justify this argument. When I was eighteen, I suffered with severe anxiety of
never being loved or appreciated. At the age of eighteen I was in an abusive
relationship mentally and physically, losing all my self-worth. The thought of
loving another or someone loving me became more of a negative outlook than a
positive. As I started to see the psychological affect it had on me, my whole
attitude changed about myself as a young woman. This pain I suffered was a
lesson that was taught, which made me become stronger and able to love and appreciate
myself. When we face difficult outcomes in life, our motive is to apply that
for personal development. I wasn’t just learning to cope with or adjust to the
negative situation, I gained some significant benefits.  I became more strong, confident and
appreciative, especially the small things I took for granted. Although it took
time and energy to overcome a disturbing situation in my life, it has given me
the power to thank that person, for making me into the well-rounded woman I am.
When we suffer, we find a new meaning and purpose in life.



American Psychological Association defines resilience as “the process of adapting
well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources
of stress,” or “bouncing back” from difficult experiences.  The APA’s definition of a versus a stable personality trait suggests that
people have the capacity to build and demonstrate resilience, regardless of
their socioeconomic backgrounds, personal experiences, or social environments.
The argument surrounding resilience as a process versus a trait persists as a
research topic, but the more common perspective emphasizes an adaptive process
that can be developed. Yet with the increased graying of the population, a
growing field of research has emerged on the concept of resilience among older
adults and its role in successful aging. Successful aging has several
components but is typically defined as freedom from chronic disease and
disability, as well as high physical and mental functioning. Adults
are currently the fastest growing age group in the US, dominated by Baby Boomers.
 “Adults age eighty years and older are growing
the most. In fact, US Census Bureau population data predict that by 2030, adults
age sixty-five years and older will make up nearly twenty percent of the US
population. As such, there is growing interest in helping Baby Boomers reach
old age with optimal health and minimal disability. Traditionally, in many
Western cultures older age has been viewed negatively as a time of frailty,
disability, declining function, and greater physical and mental limitations.
However, many older adults experience high wellbeing and quality of life, low
stress, recovery from adversities, and consider themselves to be aging
successfully despite the onset of chronic conditions. In some studies,
adults age eighty-five and older appear to have the same or greater capacity
for resilience as those who are younger, suggesting that resilience may also
support longevity.” (Macleod, S., Musich, S., Hawkins, K., Alsgaard, K., &
Wicker, E. R. 2016).

 Social support, was also significantly
important. But the importance is on “support”. Respondents who
reported strong supportive social ties were less likely to develop psychiatric
disorders and more likely to recover from them if they did. In theory, unsupportive,
unreceptive, and critical responses from friends, family, or coworkers
increased the risk to PTSD survivors.  Researchers
believe the negative impact likely arises from attempts to discourage
open communication, which increases cognitive
avoidance and suppression of trauma related memories,
social withdrawal, and self-blame. We don’t always have control over the
quality of our social networks, but we can increase our resilience by
developing a stronger sense of mastery over our lives. (Cummins, D. 2015).

questionnaire data revealed two crucially important factors that separated
those who currently suffered a disorder from those who either never developed a
disorder or had recovered from one, mastery,
and social support. Mastery refers to the degree to which individuals
perceive themselves as having control and influence over life circumstances.
This is not the same as hopefulness,
which is the expectation of favorable outcomes that are not directly
attributable to personal factors. Mastery, not hopefulness,
is the better predictor of resilience in the face of trauma. Previous studies
have found that mastery lessens PTSD symptoms in veterans
and lessens depression
in women who have suffered intimate partner violence. Higher mastery is also
related to greater quality of life, as well as reduced cardiovascular
disease mortality. In a related study involving
nearly 4,000 adults, higher perceived mastery predicted better health, greater
life satisfaction, and fewer depressive symptoms regardless of socioeconomic
class.            (Cummins,

recent study led by Heather Rusch of the National
Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Nursing Research
revealed two critically important factors that are associated with resilience
in the face of adversity. And it turns out that both are under a person’s
control. Researchers have focused on one of the most severe traumas people can
experience, physical assault. “One hundred fifty nine women who had endured assaultive
trauma,  were given a series of
established questionnaires designed to measure their current and past levels of
PTSD and other psychiatric
conditions, as well as various measures of resilience, social support, personality,
and quality of life.”(Cummins, D. 2015).  A clear majority of respondents did not
develop chronic PTSD following assault exposure.  The most common negative
psychological outcome was depression,
which afflicted 30 percent of the respondents. Researchers then decided to divide,
the respondents into three categories, those who had never been diagnosed with
a psychiatric disorder, and those who had been diagnosed with a psychiatric
disorder in the past but had recovered. (Cummins, D. 2015).

to September 11, 2001, Morgan Stanley, the famous investment bank, was the largest
tenant in the World Trade Center. The company had some 2,700 employees working
in the south tower on 22 floors between the 43rd and the 74th. On that horrible
day, the first plane hit the north tower at 8:46 am, and Morgan Stanley started
evacuating just one minute later, at 8:47 am. When the second plane crashed
into the south tower 15 minutes after that, Morgan Stanley’s offices were
largely empty. All told, the company lost only seven employees despite
receiving an almost direct hit. Of course, the organization was just plain
lucky to be in the second tower. Cantor Fitzgerald, whose offices were hit in
the first attack, couldn’t have done anything to save its employees. Still, it
was Morgan Stanley’s hard-nosed realism that enabled the company to benefit
from its luck. Soon after the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, senior
management recognized that working in such a symbolic center of U.S. commercial
power made the company vulnerable to attention from terrorists and possible
attack. With this grim realization, Morgan Stanley launched a program of
preparedness at the micro level. Few companies take their fire drills
seriously. Not so Morgan Stanley, whose VP of security for the Individual
Investor Group, Rick Rescorla, brought a military discipline to the job.
Rescorla, himself a highly resilient, decorated Vietnam vet, made sure that
people were fully drilled about what to do in a catastrophe. When disaster
struck on September 11, Rescorla was on a bullhorn telling Morgan Stanley
employees to stay calm and follow their well-practiced drill, even though some
building supervisors were telling occupants that all was well. Sadly, Rescorla
himself, whose life story has been widely covered in recent months, was one of
the seven who didn’t make it out. It was undoubtedly resilience at work. The
fact is, when we truly stare down reality, we prepare ourselves to act in ways
that allow us to endure and survive extraordinary hardship.” (Coutu, D.2012).

Regarding resilience, it appears that most people find
suffering to be beneficial, people can formulate ideas about their suffering to
create some sort of meaning for themselves and others. Diane Coutu a
journalist, became fascinated with resilience, and the quality of resilience
that carries us through life. Diane considered both the nature of
individual resilience and what makes some organizations more resilient than
others. Why do some people buckle under pressure and what makes others bend and
ultimately bounce back? Many of the early theories about resilience stressed
the role of genetics. Some people are just born resilient, so the arguments
went. “There’s some truth to that, of course, but an increasing body of
empirical evidence shows that resilience whether in children, survivors of
concentration camps, or businesses back from the brink can be learned.” (Coutu,
D. 2016). For example, Diane feels George Vaillant feels this way. The director
of the Study of Adult Development at Harvard Medical School in Boston, who
observes that within various groups studied during a 60-year period, people
became markedly more resilient over their lifetimes. Psychologists claim that
un resilient people more easily develop resiliency skills than those with head
starts. Diane Coutu, observed that in her research all the theories of
resilience overlap in three ways. Resilient people, possess three
characteristics: a staunch acceptance of reality; a deep belief, often
buttressed by strongly held values, that life is meaningful; and an uncanny
ability to improvise. Bouncing back from hardship with just one or two of these
qualities, only being truly resilient with all three. Research suggests most
people slip into denial as a coping mechanism. Facing reality and really facing
it, which is grueling work.  It can be
unpleasant and often emotionally wrenching. An example Diane uses to show how
suffering impacts resilience greatly is of September 11th, 2001. (Coutu,
D. 2016).

We as individuals, undergo
many trials and misfortunes throughout our lives. One of those misfortunes that
may occur is suffering. Suffering is the state of undergoing pain, distress or
hardship. Those suffering could have faced assaultive trauma, PTSD, violence or
could be facing depression. As suffering is consistent throughout our lives, it
impacts resilience giving us the ability to spring back into shape. Research
studies and publics beliefs, believe that this is a subject none of us will
ever fully understand, it is said to be one of the greatest puzzles of human
nature. Resilience is neither ethically good nor bad for us, it is merely the
skill and capacity to be strong under conditions of enormous stress and change.

Critical Review

The more resilience is learned, the more potential there
is for participating visible concepts of resilience into fields of medicine,
mental health and science. This integration is beginning to foster an important
and much needed standard shift. Rather than spending most of time and energy
examining the negative consequences of trauma, clinicians and researchers can
learn to simultaneously evaluate and teach methods to enhance resilience. Such
an approach moves the field away from a purely deficit-based model of mental
health, toward the inclusion of strength and competence based models that focus
on prevention and building strengths. Though struggles, there is strengths and
with resilience being taught, weaknesses can be overcome.

Resilience can change over time as a function of
development and one’s interaction with the environment. A high degree of parental
care and protection may enhance resilience during earlier stages of the child
but may interfere with individuation during teenage years or young adulthood. Responding
to stress and trauma takes place in the context of interactions with other
human beings, available resources, specific cultures and religions,
organizations, communities and societies.  These contexts may be resilient and therefore,
capable of supporting the individual. (Psychological Resilience, 2017)

 Emotional pain and sadness are common in
people who have suffered major adversity or trauma in their lives. Resilience
is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It is extremely important to develop effective
definitions for resilience because resilience, like trauma, is one of those
words that has everyday meaning. Most people often talk about trauma and
resilience in very loose terms. Although when trauma researchers talk about
trauma they have specific definitions in mind. The same issue with resilience,
particularly since there is currently so much interest in building resilience.
When resilience isn’t built, it becomes an issue regarding an individual’s
health and safety. It is important to specify whether resilience is being
viewed as a trait, a process, or an outcome, and it is often tempting to take an
approach in considering whether resilience is present or absent. Resilience is based
more on a variety that may be present to differing degrees across multiple
domains of. An individual can adapt well to stress in a workplace or in an
academic setting. But the individual may fail to adapt well in their personal
life or in their relationships.

For decades, the fields of neuroscience, mental health,
medicine, psychology, and sociology have been collectively focused on the
short-term and long-term consequences of stress, and more recently, extreme
stress. Stress is a reality of our daily lives. At some point, most people will
be exposed to one or more, potentially life traumatic experiences that can
influence mental health and result in conditions such as posttraumatic stress
disorder. Most severe adversities include exposure to interpersonal violence,
the trauma of war, death of a loved one, natural disasters, serious industrial
or other accidents, and terrorism. Some stressors are ongoing, such as the
stress of exposure to bullying, harassment, dysfunctional or challenging
relationships, the grinding stress of poverty, and even the impact of
environmental stressors such as extreme weather conditions and global. When
stress exposure is unusually intense, chronic, uncontrollable, and overwhelming,
it can give rise to or exacerbate, burnout, depression, anxiety, and numerous
physical conditions, such as inflammatory, cardiovascular, or other medical
illnesses. (Southwick,
S. M., Bonanno, G. A., Masten, A. S., Panter-Brick, C., & Yehuda, R. 2014).

individuals carry on and thrive despite difficulty, hardly missing a beat.
Other individuals struggle mightily, suffering for periods of time but
eventually recovering their balance. What distinguishes individuals who can
sustain optimal functioning or to recover quickly from adverse circumstances
from individuals who succumb. The question has guided resilience research over
the past four decades. From a structural perspective, it seems unlikely that
resilience is a unidimensional construct. Six key attitudinal and behavioral
factors are identified that can help maintain a wellbeing during difficult
circumstances. Positive attitude, active coping, cognitive flexibility, moral
compass, physical exercise and social support and role models. An important
issue concerning the origins of resilience is the extent to which experience
affects personal resilience. It seems likely that the extent to which
resilience is built or damaged will depend on factors such as the intensity of
the experience. Underlying individual difference factors relating to stable
personality characteristics have been shown to be related to resilience levels.
Which raises the question of the extent to which resilience might be a fixed
and stable trait, or amenable to change. (Cooper, Flint – Taylor, & Davda,
2014). Research on resilience training has provided more direct evidence that
resilience is amenable to change.


is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy,
threats, or even significant sources of stress. When a traumatic event is
encountered, active thoughts, perspectives and behaviors are added to our
suffering. Western and Buddhist psychology tells us the attempts to avoid pain
often increases our suffering. An unfortunate aspect is that to move out of
pain, we must sit with the pain, even if we may prefer the seeming protection
of deadened emotions and reduced awareness. In experiencing negative tragedies,
often people have experienced good outcomes through suffering. There is a very
commonly held belief that life is difficult, more to the point, life consists
of a lot of suffering. It is common to hear comments such as, life is a
constant struggle, life is an uphill battle, a never-ending fight. These
comments raise many questions about the nature, or even the very existence of
absolute happiness. The question is, is it possible for a human being to ever
achieve complete happiness, humans are very complex and each one of us has a different
definition of happiness.” (Southwick, S. M., Bonanno, G. A.,
Masten, A. S., Panter-Brick, C., & Yehuda, R. 2014).