SMART Strengths: Building Character, Resilience, and Relationships in Youth

Building Resilience

  • Pessimists tend to see negative events as broad in scope and long in duration. This makes it seem like they don’t have control, which leads to hopelessness. They also see good events as fleeting and also out of their control. This leads to less success and happiness in life. The authors cite research that claims that our explanatory style is in our control and that we can learn to challenge pessimistic thoughts. The best way to do this is to slow down and think carefully. You will likely have to counteract your confirmation bias that tries to confirm what you already believe. This won’t be easy. You need to see negative events as not ruining your whole day and stop always blaming yourself. Think about what you can do rather than feeling hopeless. You also need to forgive yourself when you make a mistake rather than indulging in self-loathing. This chapter contains activities you can use to practice.
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