Friday, January 07, 2011

Positive Thinking is a Soldier's Best Weapon


Army soldiers fighting in Iraq who were able to maintain a positive outlook in the midst of trauma were less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.

Findings—from the first combat-zone study of its kind—will be published in the January issue of the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

“There is evidence that if we can train people to be more psychologically resilient—that is, less catastrophic in their thinking and more optimistic and more hopeful—then they function better when they encounter traumatic situations,” says John Schaubroeck, lead researcher and a psychology professor at Michigan State University. “They may be less likely to experience symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder down the line, although we don’t know that for sure.”

People who have high levels of resiliency still experience stress and symptoms of health problems, adds Schaubroeck. “It’s just that resiliency means they get over the event relatively quickly, while a low-resiliency person might have a hard time letting go.”


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