Spirituality & Health - The Soul/Body Connection


How Well Do You Handle Adversity? Find Your Explanatory Style

More than thirty years of research and over 500 scientific studies have shown that what you say to yourself when you experience stress and adversity--your explanatory style -- influences your performance, your mood, and even your health. This short check-up from world renowned psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman will give you a sense of whether your style is optimistic or pessimistic -- and how your style effects your ability to function at your best.

Read the description of each situation and vividly imagine it happening to you. Then click on the cause that is likelier to apply to you. You may not like the way some of the responses sound, but don't choose what you think you should say or what would sound right to other people; choose the response that's most like you. Your answers are not being recorded.

1. The project you are in charge of is a great success.
I kept a close watch over everyone's work.
Everyone devoted a lot of time and energy to it.

2. You and your spouse / partner / boyfriend / girlfriend make up after a fight.
I forgave him/her.
I'm usually forgiving.

3. You get lost driving to a friend's house.
I missed a turn.
My friend gave me bad directions.

4. Your spouse / partner / boyfriend / girlfriend surprises you with a gift.
He/she just got a raise at work.
I took him/her out to a special dinner the night before.

5. You forget your spouse's / partner's / boyfriend's / girlfriend's birthday.
I'm not good at remembering birthdays.
I was preoccupied with other things.

6. You get a flower from an admirer.
I am attractive to him/her.
I am a popular person.

7. You run for a community office position and you win.
I devote a lot of time and energy to campaigning.
I work very hard at everything I do.

8. You miss an important engagement.
Sometimes my memory fails me.
I sometimes forget to check my appointment book.

9. You run for a community office and you lose.
I didn't campaign hard enough.
The person who won knew more people.

10. You host a successful dinner.
I was particularly charming that night.
I am a good host.

11. You stop a crime by calling the police.
A strange noise caught my attention.
I was alert that day.

12. You buy your spouse/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend a gift and he/she doesn't like it.
I don't put enough thought into things like that.
He/she has very picky tastes.

13. You gain weight over the holidays and can't lose it.
Diets don't work in the long run.
The diet I tried didn't work.

14. Your stocks make you a lot of money.
My broker decided to take on something new.
My broker is a top notch investor.

15. You win an athletic contest.
I was feeling unbeatable.
I train hard.

16. Your fail an important examination.
I wasn't as smart as the other people taking the exam.
I didn't prepare for it well.

17. Your boss gives you too little time to finish a project, but you get it finished anyway.
I am good at my job.
I am an efficient person.

18. You lose a sporting event for which you have been training for a long time.
I'm not very athletic.
I'm not good at that sport.

19. Your car runs out of gas on a dark street late at night.
I didn't check to see how much gas was in the tank.
The gas gauge was broken.

20. You lose your temper with a friend.
He/she is always nagging me.
He/she was in a hostile mood.

21. You are penalized for not returning your income tax forms on time.
I always put off doing my taxes.
I was lazy about getting my taxes done this year.

22. You ask a person out on a date and he/she days "no."
I was a wreck that day.
I got tongue-tied when I asked him/her to the dance.

23. A game show host picks you out of the audience to participate in the show.
I was sitting in the right seat.
I looked the most enthusiastic.

24. You save a person from choking to death.
I know a technique to stop someone from choking.
I know what to do in a crisis situation.

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