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Building Resilience

Dear Friends

As you know, the theme of the World Happiness Summit this year is resilience. So, what is resilience?  According to the Oxford dictionary, resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties and the ability to get back up when you fall down.

Where does resilience come from? Can you build it?

There are many theories about what makes for resilience, but one thing that each includes is the importance of connection – the sense of belonging to friends, family, and community. This makes a lot of intuitive sense;  if we have other people we can rely on, it makes getting up much easier when we fall down.

Take a look at this beautiful family photo and how it exemplifies connection:

Together Again by Bob Turner
After more than a year of not being able to gather as family we were finally able to remove our masks and enjoy a holiday meal together. In keeping with the doctrine of WOHASU we were able to show the resiliency this family has in returning to the happier times we have enjoyed over the decades. Took this candid shot of just a small section of the large table that accommodated 18 members of the family.

Connection also means being there for someone else – how can we be better at being there for the people who rely on us? In Positive Psychology there is an exercise called “Active Constructive Responding” (ACR) and it turns out that this way of reacting to other people is very important for the quality of the relationship we develop with them. 

ACR means that when someone comes to talk to you, you listen and pay attention to what they are saying and respond in a thoughtful manner. Just think about how often you don’t pay attention or don’t hear what someone is telling you and then you don’t respond well. Perhaps we can all do a better job of listening when somebody comes to talk to us.

You can learn more about ACR here:


The SeeingHappy Team


The team here at SeeingHappy are all photographers who enjoy the process of creating memorable photos. We are a mix of educators striving to share their knowledge and psychologists dedicated to increasing happiness in the world.

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