By Jeffrey Rossman, PhD.

All of us, no matter how blessed and lucky we may be, have experienced trauma, loss, and adversity–or we will. The death of someone we love, the end of a marriage, a frightening illness, financial insecurity. How we cope with a crisis, however, determines whether we become overwhelmed, depressed or ill–or if we emerge stronger, with greater confidence and wisdom. Yes, that can happen.

Imagine a sturdy, flexible tree in a windstorm. Buffeted by gale-force winds, it bends but doesn’t break. Its strong roots keep it firmly anchored to the earth. After the storm, it returns to its prior state and continues to thrive. Just like that tree, you can cultivate the emotional flexibility needed to weather any crisis by following these six steps that will be covered in detail over the next few days: Acknowledge your feelings, erase all blame, draw a circle of support, look for ways to find meaning, believe that you can bounce back, connect with your spiritual side.