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Vivian Chiona reviews: The Emotionally Resilient Expat

I read a lot of books this summer, one of which was Linda A. Janssen’s The Emotionally Resilient Expat: Engage, Adapt and Thrive Across Cultures (2013). I wanted to share this book with you and encourage you to keep reading, if you’re a book-lover like me, even when you’re in the throes of the hectic lifestyle that the autumn tends to bring.

In The Emotionally Resilient Expat: Engage, Adapt and Thrive Across Cultures, Janssen has done a great job of shedding light on the dynamics of the expatriate, cross-cultural life. (As an expat, Janssen’s discussion of how “the sense of home shifts” really resonated with me.)

This is also a comprehensive guide on how to develop emotional resilience as an expat. Emotional resilience is defined by Janssen as ‘the psychological ability to adapt to the significant challenges, misfortunes and setbacks life throws our way, while maintaining or returning to a positive view of oneself during or after such turmoil’. This is a topic close to my heart and one that is not widely acknowledged or discussed among expats. Yet emotional resilience is key to understanding and overcoming many an expat challenge.

Janssen also lists excellent resources – expat-related blogs, articles, websites – throughout the book to further support the expat. Part III in particular is a great toolbox of techniques to developing emotional resilience (visualization, stress management, relaxation techniques, healthy sharing…). I also enjoyed the contributions from expats around the world; they inspire a real sense of empathy and recognition. Though some parts of the book, such as the very technical chapter on brain-body connections, could have been more succinct, I highly recommend this book.

The Emotionally Resilient Expat: Engage, Adapt and Thrive Across Cultures is a great resource for every expat, and it addresses expat challenges and provides expat-focused solutions. This truly is a book that teaches expats the skills required to engage, adapt and thrive among cultures.

Have you read The Emotionally Resilient Expat: Engage, Adapt and Thrive Across Cultures? Or any other books that have helped or inspired you in your expat experience? We’d love to know more!

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© Vivian Chiona

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