Bouncing Back When Life Knocks You Down

By Robyn Geller

Resiliance_000018162189XSmallSometimes there’s a story in the news that hits you because it’s incredibly sad. The story of Bobbi Kristina Brown is one of those stories. Her mother, the amazingly talented and equally tortured Whitney Houston, died tragically three years ago. Most of us remember the circumstances of Houston’s death — found unconscious in a bathtub. She had struggled with addiction for years and, ultimately, drugs were determined to be a factor in her death.

Now, exactly three years later, Houston’s only child, Bobbi Kristina, is said to be days, if not hours, from death. It’s been reported that her family is arguing over whether or not to remove her from life support. Like her mother, Brown was found unconscious, in a bathtub. Like her mother, Brown seemed to be a tortured soul. Bobbi Kristina’s father, Bobby Brown, has also publicly struggled with addiction. And Bobbi Kristina herself has been known to have been heading down that same path during different points in her young life.

Addiction is tough enough when you’re dealing with it privately. But when you are on the world stage, whether you asked to be there or not, it can be even more devastating. Bobbi Kristina isn’t the first young person in this position. Many suffer the same tragic fate, but some are able to pull themselves out of the abyss. Some experts think they know the reason why. The answer is that life is hard for everyone, but some people are just able to handle it better than others. It all boils down to one word: resilience.

The American Psychological Association calls resilience “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences.”

But bouncing back is obviously easier said than done. So the Association suggests these specific ways of honing those skills.

Make connections. Good relationships with close family members, friends or others are important. Accepting help and support from those who care about you will help you become more resilient. And offering help to others can also be beneficial.

Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. You can’t change the fact that highly stressful events happen, but you can change how you react to them. Try visualizing a future situation in which you react in a more appropriate fashion.

Accept that change is a part of living. Be flexible and be willing to change with the situation.

Move toward your goals. Develop some realistic goals. Take on tasks you know you can accomplish. Even the smallest ones will boost your confidence.

Take decisive actions. Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Make a decision rather than running away from a problem.

Keep things in perspective. Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the bigger picture. Avoid blowing things out of proportion.

Maintain a hopeful outlook. An optimistic outlook enables you to expect that good things will happen in your life. A good attitude can go a long way.

It’s important to remember that becoming resilient doesn’t happen overnight. And sometimes you can’t accomplish it on your own. No one knows if Bobbi Kristina had someone helping her as she suffered through her mother’s untimely death. The only certainty seems be her family is about to go through this painful heartbreak all over again.

Robyn GellerBy Robyn Geller, JCS Public Relations Coordinator

JCS has professionals who can help you work through your personal life challenges.  To learn more about how JCS can help you solve life’s puzzles please visit our home page or call 410-466-9200.

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