A friend is going through a terrible time. Serious career, financial and family health issues have come together all at once.

She sent me an email recently that showed that she knew exactly what to do, but on that day none of it seemed relevant and she was feeling very low. Now, she feels she has her resilience back - and new insights.

This is how she put it:

1. It's okay to feel overwhelmed, sad, unhappy for a few days, as long as it doesn't define your life, long-term.

2. The truth of the situation is not about my reaction to the situation...but the facts of the situation.

The most resilient people don't do the most helpful things all the time

Researchers can tell us what the most resilient people do. They're not suggesting that resilient people always do those healthy things, or that they don't have setbacks - they do. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by worry or sadness or grief. Resilience means getting ourselves back on track, even if it takes a few days.

Recovering from a setback makes you more resilient

There's a reward each time we do recover from our setbacks. The research tells us that people who work at recovering from adversity are more resilient for next time. Those who sail through life without ever having to face major challenges are amongst the least resilient.

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