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Why is Florida so Blue!?! RESILIENCE May Be the Antidote!

January 18, 2012 2 comments

Recently, I was horrified to see St. Petersburg, Florida named the saddest city in the United States by a popular men’s magazine and Tampa wasn’t far behind it.  I was thrilled to see the enthusiasm with which our citizens refuted the magazine’s findings in letters to the editor, articles, blogs and even in spoofs on the cover of the men’s magazine! And while the science in the original article was far from conclusive, some of the statistics mentioned, were.

How can it be that our area chalks up such substantial statistics in the areas of: suicide, depression and substance abuse when we enjoy one of the most beautiful places to live in the world?  This question is especially pertinent when we look at these skyrocketing statistics among our youth.

Enter the relatively young branch of psychology known as Positive Psychology, the theme of the latest Harvard Business Review. Splitting from traditional psychology, with its emphasis on diagnosing mental health disorders,  Positive Psychology focuses on helping people to identify their strengths and then encourages growth in those areas.

Resilience is identified as the ability to adapt successfully to sources of adversity and stress… In other words, it is the ability to bounce back from life’s challenges without feeling defeated by them.  This characteristic of resilience leads to some of the character traits that we value the most as a society, self-esteem, optimism, perseverance, and self-efficacy. The US Army has partnered with the University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Martin Seligman to implement a $145 million resiliency training program aimed at providing, among other things, Post Traumatic Stress Growth as a viable alternative to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

How can we explain the nation’s recent obsession with Florida Gator, turned Denver Broncos Quarterback, Tim Tebow?  He is the poster-boy for resilience!  He embodies this can-do attitude of overcoming HUGE obstacles with grace and style!

While resilience can be a natural characteristic to some people, in others it doesn’t come as easily. The good news is that resilience can be taught and the better news is that the scientific evidence concludes that it is never too early (or too late) in life to successfully learn and/or strengthen this ability!

Developing resilience is a personal journey and starting to strengthen this quality in oneself, one’s family and/or one’s business can be the key to individual and even corporate well-being! You may need a guide to help you do this and we have had a lot of success coaching people as they grow from success to real significance.

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