What does not kill you, makes you stronger
An international team has found that although traumatic experiences such as losing a loved one can be psychologically damaging, small amounts of trauma can make people more tough, `Current Directions in Psychological Science` journal reports.
In one study, those who experienced many difficult life events were found to be more distressed in general – but the same was true of some who had not faced any. Those who had experienced some difficulties were the best off.
Other research revealed that people with chronic back pain were more mobile if they had experienced some serious adversity. Sufferers who had encountered either a lot or none at all were more impaired.
Mark Seery at University at Buffalo in the US, who led the team, was quoted by the `Daily Mail` as saying, "A lot of ideas that seem like common sense aren’t supported by scientific evidence.
"Indeed, a lot of solid psychology research shows that having miserable life experiences is bad for you. Serious events – like the death of a child or parent, a natural disaster, being physically attacked, experiencing sexual abuse, or being forcibly separated from your family – can cause psychological problems.
"In fact, some research has suggested that the best way to go through life is having nothing ever happen to you. But not only is that unrealistic, it`s not necessarily healthy."
According to the scientists, those who go through difficult experiences are given a chance to develop an ability to cope with such situations in the future. "The idea is that negative life experiences can toughen people, making them better able to manage subsequent difficulties."