I engage in “benefit-finding.” I can identify positive outcomes of an otherwise negative experience. I usually search for the “silver lining.” For me, the glass is halffull, rather than being half-empty. I can put a “positive spin” on events; reframe negative experiences in a more positive way. I can find unexpected benefits. For example, I can complete the following sentences:
As a result of this experience I can ask myself the following Hinge Questions:
- “Has anything positive come out of this experience for me and others?”
- “I am now . . . “
- “I now know that . . . “
- “I am better prepared to . . . “
- “I now see new . . . “
- “I can now better appreciate . . . “
- “I have prepared myself, so I can now . . . “
- “I have learned some valuable things about myself and about my buddies, (family members) that I would not have learned any other way, such as . . .“
- “This was a test of my manhood (womanhood) and what I learned was . . .“
- “I am more resilient in the following ways . . . “
Survivors of a disaster who reported benefits within four to six weeks were less likely to be diagnosed with PTSD three years later and showed less distress than survivors who did not report any benefits. The perception of signs of growth played a valuable role in later adjustment.
Benefit-finding has been related to positive changes in neuroendocrine functioning in the decreased production of the stress hormone cortisol and lower mortality rates among those suffering from AIDS. Benefit-finding slowed down the growth rate of cells that contribute to disease progression.
Benefit-finding also leads to increased social supports and to the use of adaptive cognitive strategies among HIV patients and with patients with multiple sclerosis.
“Going through this taught me that I did not know how strong I was until I confronted these things. I realized I could call upon my own reserves and I got to be stronger. I realize if I got through this, I can cope with anything.”
“I am wiser (stronger) as a result of this experience.”
“I am better prepared for whatever comes along.”
“I am less afraid of change.”
“I am better now at helping others.”
“This brought us all together.”
“I learned I am my brother’s keeper.”
“I can take responsibility for my actions and I can engage in recovery thinking.”