Maybe you’ve heard the saying: What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. At first flush it seems like nonsense, while sounding sort of cool. If someone almost stabs you to death, surely that makes you weaker?
The phrase is from the German philosopher Fredrich Nietzsche. Now psychologists have discovered he was right, if you make it a matter of resilience.
Resilience is the emotional skill that equips you to persevere in the face of setbacks, to bounce back after initial defeats, and to overcome obstacles in achieving your goals. Resilience is very much related to the skill of optimism and is thus an aspect of positive psychology. It is also related to emotional intelligence through motivation.
It was the tabloid headline that grabbed my attention. WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU DOES MAKES YOU STRONGER.
We seem to fare better after facing a few knocks compared to those who sail through life with no problems.
A study has demonstrated how adverse experiences foster adaptability and resilience, with resulting advantages for mental health and well-being.
Suffering from life ‘s ups and downs also means that we are better equipped to deal with adverse events in the future compared to those who have not experienced any difficulties.
For a more in-depth account of this research, look up the following:
- Study Confirms: Whatever Doesn’t Kill Us Can Make Us Stronger
- Whatever does not kill us: Cumulative lifetime adversity, vulnerability, and resilience. (original article)
- Mark Seery (information about the main researcher)
It seems those ol’ philosophers knew a thing or two after all…
Image credit: krossbow.