From the COVID-19 pandemic to an epidemic of economic loss and deep uncertainty about what’s in store, this is a time when even the toughest of us can find ourselves feeling stress, fear and exhaustion.

How do we recover despite the changing world around us? We need to tap into our innate human capabilities of resilience. Resilience is the capacity to bounce back from change and challenge – no matter what the circumstance.

If we listen to the stories we tell about ourselves, about others, and about what happens to and around us we can re-shape our world view. This approach is called altering our ‘explanatory style’. It is how to explain events in the world. Numerous researchers have associated an optimistic explanatory with better academic, athletic and work performance, better coping skills, less likelihood of succumbing to depression, and better physical health.

Explanatory style revolves around the ‘3ps’ that were identified by Martin Seligman, author of Learned Optimism.

These are:

  • Permanence: Believing a bad situation will last forever

  • Pervasiveness: Believing that situation applies across all parts of your life

  • Personalisation: Believing that the problem is you, instead of considering that outside factors are at play

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You can read the rest of the article and find Karlin Sloan’s 5 tips for being an optimist in the original ‘Building Resilience’ article posted in the Planet Mindful Magazine.