Today I have the privilege of interviewing Dr. Norman Rosenthal, the noted research psychiatrist about his new book, “The Gift of Adversity,” that explores how life’s disappointments and difficulties provide us with the lessons we need to become better, bigger, and more resilient human beings.
As a world-class psychiatrist, what have you found to be the most important tool your patients can arm themselves with when confronting adversity?
The most important tool is a clear head. Don’t panic. In most situations there is time to think; thinking is your friend, and impulsive action is your enemy. Analyze the situation, understanding what you’re up against and what resources you have at your disposal.
Of course, in emergencies you will need to act quickly, but that’s when your primitive fight-or-flight responses will click into gear and — with a bit of luck and quick thinking — will save the day.