A meta-analysis of studies of how traumatic events affect mental health found that the number of adverse experiences may determine whether we become better able to handle what life throws at us. Those who underwent no or few hardships, or many adversities, generally had worse coping skills than those who had some bad times, but not too many.
What’s the Big Idea?
Why do those with low to moderate levels of hardships have more resilience to handle major or minor difficulties? Study author Mark Seery of the University at Buffalo in New York thinks there could be various factors at work, including having a sense of mastering past hurdles, feeling in control, building social support networks and stimulating cell growth in areas of the brain that relate to coping.