For many of us, life is pretty good a lot of the time; but, for all of us, there are times when it’s really tough. And when those rough times hit, it’s good to know that we can cope, isn’t it?

So, what can we do to improve our chances?

According to Dr Aaron Antonovsky, an Israeli medical sociologist, when faced with extreme stress, it’s important that we face the situation with a sense of coherence. This involves having the belief that our challenge is meaningful, in some way manageable, and also understandable, even if it seems somewhat chaotic.

Dr Suzanne Kobasa from City University, New York, has added three more traits to the resilient personality. She is convinced that if we face our troubles with commitment, a willingness to be challenged, and a determination to take control, we will be well-equipped to withstand life’s mean deals.

Does this all sound quite a lot to ask? Especially during those times when setback after setback seems to roll our way? Well, the good new is that we can develop and nurture these qualities, very simply as we go about our everyday lives, and it’s even fun to do as well.

All it demands of us is to start developing a real curiosity about our lives. As you do this, include as many different aspects and people as you can, even the ones you find boring or irritating. And be open-hearted in your response to these things. Curiosity and enthusiasm are wonderfully creative qualities which produce a spin-off of many other great qualities by the by – such as as a sense of meaningfulness, whole-hearted commitment, comprehension, willingness to cope with challenge, an ability to take control….In other words, a developed resilience to whatever difficulties may come our way.

And, when we know that we have what it takes to ride out the rough times, we can feel calmer, more confident and, yes, happier too, can’t we?