Our ability to rise up out of a difficult spell can be influenced by how we choose to interpret the situation we find ourselves in.
Finding a way to put it in perspective - like thinking of people in worse situations, or finding a way to make sense of a challenge - can be helpful.
A related but separate process - finding some benefit that's arisen as a result of the difficulty -can be constructive too.
This isn't about denial of what happened, or putting an unrealistically positive spin on things. It's evidence that finding some good from negative events - if it's possible for you - can be a really healthy coping strategy.
Benefit-finding in adversity isn't rare. One study on breast cancer survivors found that two thirds of the women participating reported their lives changed for the better after developing the disease. One of the benefits they cited was how their illness came as a wake-up call that forced them to focus on what truly mattered to them. Other studies have shown that people who coped effectively with conditions such as HIV and heart disease also had a similar tendency to find benefit in their condition. Experiences that bring people face to face with the fragility of life can bring them a sharpened appreciation of their relationships and of the importance of living in the present. Other trauma survivors have said they've found...
Actively seeking possible benefits over time, however small, can help the process of recovery, reduce the likelihood of depression and build our resilience.
It's important to take the time to reflect and process things to enable us - not only to understand and find benefit in what's happened, but also to build it into our lives and take positive action - rather than ignore it.
A strong note of caution
Finding benefit is highly individual. It isn't possible for everyone and every situation. It can depend on the nature of the negative event. We should never feel that we must find benefits, nor feel guilty or shameful when we really can't.
Learning resource: Action for Happiness