When life is a cruel joke, be the person who laughs it off. Train yourself to be resilient and you’ll get healthier, too.

By Virginia Sole-Smith
February 07, 2017

At one point or another, we’ll all be knocked down by life—a sick child, a lost job, a troubled marriage—and have to resume the everyday business of living with joy and purpose. How well you do that depends on your level of resilience, a.k.a. your “ability to bounce back,” says psychiatrist Dennis Charney, MD, dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, who has spent decades researching how people do just that. Resilient people are not only less likely to be diagnosed with mental health struggles like PTSD, depression, and anxiety; they also recover more quickly from injury and have better health outcomes for a variety of conditions, like heart problems and osteoarthritis.

Well, that’s great for them, you might be thinking—because one common misconception about resilience is that you either have it or you don’t. But experts agree that it’s a skill you can learn and cultivate. Here’s how.

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