The stimulus is the event or what happens to us.
The learning is what we can choose to take away from the stimulus if we choose to reflect about our role in the stimulus.
The response is what we decide to do.
The science of bouncing back from unexpected or unfortunate events, to me, involves spending time on the stimulus, learning and response – in that order. We need to spend a bit time on the event so we can understand and accept it. That will then open our minds to learning from our role in it.
There isn’t a guaranteed learning every time. There are unfortunate events that are random – that’s important to understand too. Spending time understanding, accepting and reflecting is important in that order. That’s because acceptance can only come after understanding and change can only come after acceptance.
We are then ready to spend the rest of the time figuring out a response. Of course, the less time we spend on the event (or in denial), the more time we get to craft that response.
That, then, is the art of bouncing back – working quickly through acceptance and understanding, committing to the learning and then figuring out a creative, constructive, and corrective response.