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Resilient People More Satisfied with Life

23 May 2012 Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

When confronted with adverse situations such as the loss of a loved one, some people never fully recover from the pain. Others, the majority, pull through and experiment how the intensity of negative emotions (e.g. anxiety, depression) grows dimmer with time until they adapt to the new situation. A third group is made up of individuals whose adversities have made them grow personally and whose life takes on new meaning, making them feel stronger than before.

Researchers at the Basic Psychology Unit at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona analysed the responses of 254 students from the Faculty of Psychology in different questionnaires. The purpose was to evaluate their level of satisfaction with life and find connections between their resilience and their capacity of emotional recovery, one of the components of emotional intelligence which consists in the ability to control one's emotions and those of others.

Research data shows that students who are more resilient, 20% of those surveyed, are more satisfied with their lives and are also those who believe they have control over their emotions and their state of mind. Resilience therefore has a positive prediction effect on the level of satisfaction with one's life.

“Some of the characteristics of being resilient can be worked on and improved, such as self-esteem and being able to regulate one's emotions. Learning these techniques can offer people the resources needed to help them adapt and improve their quality of life", explains Dr Joaquín T Limonero, professor of the UAB Research Group on Stress and Health at UAB and coordinator of the research.

Published recently in Behavioral Psychology, the study included the participation of UAB researcher Jordi Fernández Castro; professors of the Gimbernat School of Nursing (a UAB-affiliated centre) Joaquín Tomás-Sábado and Amor Aradilla Herrera; and psychologist and researcher of Egarsat, M. José Gómez-Romero. 

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