Resilience = Could Mindfulness be the answer

The finding that some people react less negatively than others to stress or traumatic events is fascinating and a topic many research studies have tested. Scientists want to know whether these difference are genetic and whether resilience is something that can an be learned.

New research published by Mosaic looks at the key factors that correlate with a persons likelihood to overcome trauma.

"Through their research, Charney and Southwick have identified 10 psychological and social factors that they think make for stronger resilience, either alone or ideally in combination:

- facing fear
- having a moral compass
- drawing on faith
- using social support
- having good role models
- being physically fit
- making sure your brain is challenged
- having ‘cognitive and emotional flexibility’
- having ‘meaning, purpose and growth’ in life
- ‘realistic’ optimism.

"Charney and Southwick are convinced that it is possible to develop these 10 factors, and that this can lead to a positive change for generally healthy people in their ability to cope not just with a major trauma, but also with the day-to-day stresses of life. One technique, in particular, might help people with this development. Until recently this technique was relatively obscure. Now it’s everywhere: mindfulness."

"Lantieri believes that mindfulness and other fundamental stress-reducing strategies are vital foundations for the kinds of changes Charney talks about. “Many of the factors he mentions are internal strengths that can be cultivated through mindfulness – such as cognitive and emotional flexibility or facing fear. We can’t just tell people that it’s better to face their fear without helping them figure out how,” she says."

To read more on mindfullness intiatives in schools please visit the BBC website for the full article.