Most people experience extreme stress at some point in time during their life, sometimes from major events such as loss of a loved one or loss of a job or even from positive events such as the birth of a child, or from minor events or reactions. The ability to resume normal functioning soon after experiencing adversity while managing the stressors is called psychological resilience, whereas vulnerability is associated with difficulty in recovering from adversity. People with high cognitive emotion regulation exhibit greater resilience after stress exposure. Resilience can be strengthened.

Relevant Research


Experiencing adversity and stress can actually promote a person's psychological resilience. In fact a person who is exposed to little stress may not be able to handle serious stressors well. Some cumulative life adversity is actually associated with resilience and well-being. "An Upside To Adversity" by Mark Seery, Raphael Leo, Shannon Lupien, Cheryl Kondrak, & Jessica Almonte, Psychological Science, 24(7), July, 2013.

Stress exposure is linked to impaired mental health functioning such as depression. By strengthening the emotional regulation, resilience is strengthened. "Resilience in the Face Of Stress" by Allison Troy & Iris Mauss in Resilience and Mental Health: Challenges Across the Lifespan, Stephen Southwick, Brett Litz, Dennis Charney, & Matthew Friedman, 2011.

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