People usually laugh when I suggest that stress can be good for you. “Oh yeah, tell me more…Not” Stress has gotten such a bad name and we feel so powerless over it that all we want to do is avoid it. This is what creates our victimization mentality to stress situations.
Research completed by Anthony Mancini and his colleagues indicated that even people subjected to even significant traumatic events might thrive given the right support. Their recently released research study done following the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007 surveyed 358 female students at Virginia Tech who took assessments for depression and anxiety before and then after the shootings.
While the vast majority of respondents (60%) were resilient and returned to normal functioning, close to 15% of the sample had significant relief from their anxiety and about 20% showed an increase in symptoms. The researchers concluded that those people who received significant social support did better as it allowed them to increase their connections with others, which was viewed as a key element in recovery.
While no one wants to have high levels of stress in their life, taking a step back and looking for he silver lining in any challenge helps keep our energy focused on doing what we need to do to get the best out of the situation. Too often we ruminate about how the negative will create the “worst of situations” and that winds up draining us and creating a catastrophe that will never happen.
© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2015