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Emotional Resilience in Expat Life: Part I

Well here we go.

As mentioned briefly in an earlier post, I’ve been busy working on a five-part series entitled ‘Emotional Resilience in Expat Life.’

The first article, ‘Identity and the Expat’ debuted today on I Am Expat.

I’m sharing it with you here on my blog because I believe that emotional resilience is important to every person’s ability to weather turbulent times; I also happen to believe that for expats, Third Culture Kids (TCKs), global nomads, cross-culturals, and all the various labels we give to people who are living or have lived abroad, having a healthy level of emotional resilience is absolutely crucial.

Emotional resilience is generally defined as the psychological ability to adapt to the siginificant challenges, misfortunes and setbacks life throws our way, while maintaining or returning to a positive view of oneself during and after such turmoil.

Guess what? Moving between countries/cultures ranks right up there with death of a loved one, divorce and other major events that impact our lives.

Developing and enhancing emotional resilience in ourselves and our family members can help us navigate the challenges of living in a highly mobile, genuinely cross-cultural world. In ignoring our state of emotional resilience, we run the risk of encountering feelings of loss, helplessness and possible depression.

I started on this journey to understand the concepts and research behind expat literature for this simple reason: I wanted to understand what was out there, how it all fit together, and what it means for me and my family. 

I’ve also kept in the back of my mind all of the stories I’ve read, heard about or had shared with me by other expats. It is those thoughts as well as my own personal experiences that have fueled the relentless questioning ‘why, why, why?’ necessary to plow through all of these books and articles. (Part V will include a selected references section.)

This five-part series is the result of that research, and it reflects my thoughts on pulling together six critical issues for expats: emotional resilience, identity, transition, change, emotional & social intelligence, and optimism (positive psychology).

To my mind, this is just the beginning. Hope you’ll come along for the ride.

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