Have I got your stress level up yet?
Well, have I got some good news for you today!
It turns out, if you have challenges in your life, you're tougher than the average Joe.
If you've experienced a traumatic event such as a divorce or loss of a job or death of a family member or if you live with chronic illness, just to name a few, these kinds of life events, while still incredibly hard, can actually benefit you in the long run.
Mark D. Seery, Ph.D, a psychology professor at the University of Buffalo, studied the effects of these types of hardships on individuals.
Dr. Seery notes:
“Experiencing some adversity may create a sense of mastery over past adversity, teach coping skills, establish effective social-support networks, and promote cell growth in brain areas relevant for coping,” he says.
It’s similar to the way you get stronger after a workout, Seery says. “Just as the body requires exertion to improve fitness, there is no opportunity for toughness to develop if someone has never coped with stress; likewise, physical overexertion can be harmful, and too much stress disrupts toughening,” he says.
It turns out that old saying, "What doesn't kill you, makes your stronger", is actually true.
So take heart.
When you're in the middle of a difficult situation, remember that your body and your mind are changing, becoming more resilient in an effort to protect you and make you even stronger for the future.
That's a pretty good silver lining, if you ask me.
Click here if you'd like to read more about this study.