By Maja Gawronska and Josephine Sheu
In April 2015, the Center for Healthy Aging welcomed Darlene Mininni, PhD, noted psychologist at UCLA and author of The Emotional Toolkit. Dr. Mininni gave the Frank Benedict Roehr Memorial Lecture titled “The Science of Resilience: How to Thrive in Life.”
The event immediately sold out. Dr. Mininni’s lecture attracted the attention of local and national media and has been featured in a variety of outlets, including the San Diego Union-Tribune and NPR.
During the lecture to an audience of four hundred people, Dr. Mininni discussed breakthrough science and offered some practical tips on how to cultivate resilience. “We are human beings and we will all fall down,” said Dr. Mininni. “Resilience is about positive growth. It is about learning how to get up, and once you get up, how you learn from it.” This impacts everyone—whether you’re thirty or one hundred. “Stuff happens to everyone. No matter how hard you try, how good you are, or how much you’ve planned, life can sometimes throw you for a loop,” said Dr. Mininni. “But there’s good news. Revolutionary new research shows that you can bounce back from tough times and become even better than before.”
Here are some practical tips that can help you become more resilient:
- Cultivate optimism: Notice your words and try not to use the words always and never. Look at things as they are, but not worse than what they are. Try to see difficulties as temporary.
- Shift your focus: Look for the good in the world. Think of things you are grateful for.
- Process difficult feelings: Write for fifteen minutes for three or four days, express your deepest feelings and thoughts, and explore your writing.
- Connect: If you have one person to connect with, you are ten times less likely to be depressed. You can connect with pets as well as human beings.
- Be present: Practice mindfulness meditation every day.
Dr. Mininni’s lecture has been recorded and is available online.
The Frank Benedict Roehr Memorial Lecture Series was established by Mr. Roehr’s daughter, Suzanne Angelucci, and is designed to inform the public of the newest areas of scientific investigations on topics associated with the power of humor and positive thinking that affect health and longevity.