Resilience & Coping

Resilience is often described as the ability of the individual to bounce back after having experienced hardship. Resilience is mostly based on personal strengths, resources, and psychological capital.

20 Best Anxiety Tools for Helping Your Clients Cope

Anxiety Tools

Anxiety is part of our brain’s hardwired threat response, which has helped humans survive for thousands of years. We have all experienced anxiety at some point, whether it’s hearing a bump in the night or preparing for an exam. However, over-activation of the anxiety response can have a debilitating impact, […]

How to Build Resilience in Counseling: 12 Worksheets & Activities

Resilience counseling

Trauma is part of life and will be faced by all of us at some point. While it will lead to prolonged distress for some, others will return from the ordeal stronger in mind and spirit, having met the challenge and returned to purposeful lives (Southwick & Charney, 2018). While […]

What Are Protective Factors in Psychology? 36 Examples

Protective Factors

Through adversity, we acquire skills, abilities, and attributes that enable us to not just survive, but ultimately, thrive. French psychiatrist Pierre Janet said: “Every life is a piece of art, put together with all means available.” Van Der Kolk, 2014, p. 112 When I think of Janet’s statement, I envision […]

Defense Mechanisms Worksheets: 10 Tools for Practitioners

Defense Mechanism Worksheets

Perhaps unsurprisingly, we are all likely to experience trauma more than once in our lives. Less widely known is our reliance on psychological defenses to manage our responses to such life events and reduce anxiety (Fang, Chung, & Wang, 2020). Such automatic and typically unconscious processes act as defense mechanisms, […]

Defense Mechanisms in Psychology Explained (+ Examples)

Defense Mechanisms

As a therapist, you will often find yourself in situations when your client is displaying adaptive and maladaptive behaviors, perceptions, and thoughts in response to distress. These are known as defensive mechanisms. They’re a set of behaviors that your client has learned to rely on in times of stress. Your […]

36 Ways to Find a Silver Lining During Challenging Times

Finding the Silver Lining

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s a bad day or a truly terrible situation, life will try to knock us down. Fortunately, many coping strategies have been found to be effective at minimizing the effects of hardship. One simple but powerful way to enhance resilience is to find silver linings […]

How to Deal With Anxiety: 5 Coping Skills and Worksheets

Anxiety Coping Skills

At some point, each of us will experience anxiety and stress. Recognizing that you are experiencing anxiety is the first healthy step toward learning how to manage and cope with your feelings. Symptoms of anxiety and stress include: Your heart is pounding for no good reason. Your mind is noisy, […]

The Art of Coping: Strategies and Skills to Help Your Clients Cope

Can't cope? Overwhelmed? Stressed? We all have trouble coping at some points in life. We don't get the promotion we hoped for; our relationship breaks down; a presentation is overdue. Whether you cope or not depends on how you think. Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension, and […]

The Crisis Kit: 5 Tools for Helping Clients Through Turbulent Times

A note from the team here at, concerning COVID-19... Like many of you, our hearts are heavy with concerns for the global community’s wellbeing. We believe that now, more than ever, positive psychology can really help lift others up. That is why we have decided that we will do […]

5+ Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset Using Grit and Resilience

When was the last time you showed resilience? How about grit? It has been several years since Angela Duckworth’s TED talk catapulted these two traits into our everyday vernacular and still more since the dawn of Carol Dweck’s fixed versus growth mindset research. What have we learned? When we demonstrate […]

Resilience Theory: What Research Articles in Psychology Teach Us (+PDF)

Life is never perfect. As much as we wish things would ‘just go our way,’ difficulties are inevitable and we all have to deal with them. Resilience theory argues that it’s not the nature of adversity that is most important, but how we deal with it. When we face adversity, […]

6 Scales to Measure Coping + The Brief Cope Inventory

Sometimes life seems to pile up all at once. We find ourselves trying to juggle a multitude of daily challenges, large and small, or unexpected events that send our anxiety or stress responses into a tailspin. When this happens, it can be difficult to take a moment to check-in and […]

The Connor Davidson + Brief Resilience Scales

The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale was developed by two researchers -- Kathryn M. Conner and Jonathan R.T. Davidson. Connor is a psychiatrist and a researcher at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Her research is focused on stress, anxiety, social anxiety, medications, and resilience. Davidson is a Professor Emeritus […]

What is Coping Theory?

What is your first reaction in the face of sudden stress? Do you make a plan to overcome it? Talk it out with your friends? Avoid confronting the situation? Or try to hide the fear by resorting to comfort food or other substances? There are so many different ways of […]

Parenting Children with Positive Reinforcement (Examples + Charts)

Children don’t come with instructions and discipline is often experienced by parents and children alike as an arena where our will and wits are tested. Positive reinforcement is only one of many forms of discipline, but from the perspective of positive psychology, it may as well be the most important […]

How to Become Mentally Strong: 14 Strategies for Building Resilience

How resilient are you? Some people seem to quickly bounce back from personal failures and setbacks, while others find it much more difficult. When life knocks you down, are you quick to pick yourself up and adapt to the circumstances? Or do you find yourself completely overwhelmed with little confidence […]

23 Resilience Building Tools and Exercises (+ Mental Toughness Test)

There is a buzz about resilience recently. Resilience is the ability to recover from setbacks and adapt to challenging circumstances and is required to thrive and flourish. It is a foundational psychological tool that empowers us to feel effective and capable of handling uncertainty. Despite this definition, there has been […]

30+ Tips for Building Resilience in Children

Most of us are familiar with the expression “that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” It turns out that this is only partially true – not everyone possesses the ability to persevere following trauma. Indeed, while some people crumble in the face of adversity, others are somehow able to […]

Teaching Resilience in Schools and Fostering Resilient Learners

Teachers who teach resilience might change the trajectory of their student's lives. It is not easy to teach resilience in the classroom, but it is crucial. Teaching resilience is beyond memorization, calculation, and other traditional learning methods. It requires interaction and engagement. Resilience is about the process of becoming, which children […]

Resilience Skills, Factors and Strategies of the Resilient Person

Mental health encompasses far more than the mere absence of disorders. There are a number of dimensions when it comes to positive mental health, one of which is resilience. Resilience is the process of being able to adapt well and bounce back quickly in times of stress. This stress may […]

20 Best Resilience Books For Creating Mental Toughness

Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness or the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity. (Oxford Dictionary, 2018). Resilience is something that is within each of us, but how we use it, and how well are key determinants in […]

Resilience Training: How to Master Mental Toughness and Thrive

Do you know someone who keeps on keeping on, no matter what life throws at them? How do they continue to thrive, flourish, and grow even stronger as they overcome the obstacles they face? The answer is resilience – which the APA describes as: “The process of adapting well in […]

What is Resilience and Why is It Important to Bounce Back?

One of the most popular topics in positive psychology—both in the field itself and in mainstream discussion of positive psychological concepts—is resilience. To some, resilience is a sort of “miracle drug” personality trait, something that can heal all wounds and right all wrongs. While resilience may not be the end-all […]

How To Build Resilience With Resilience Training

We all know resilience is an important trait. It is the hallmark of successful people and successful companies, and it is what allows people to come back from disappointment and failure stronger and more determined than ever. What you may not have known is that resilience is not a permanent […]

Master Resilience Training (MRT) in the US Army: PowerPoint & Interview

Master Resilience Training (MRT) is a resilience-training program that is offered by the United States Army. The goal of the program is to teach officers about resilience and to train those officers to teach other soldiers about resilience as well. It is a joint effort between the Positive Psychology Center […]

Coping Mechanisms: Dealing with Life’s Disappointments in a Healthy Way

No matter how great your life may be, you will eventually deal with disappointments, setbacks, failures, and even loss and trauma. Everyone must face difficult situations, and everyone must come up with effective ways to deal with and bounce back from these situations. This is why coping mechanisms are a […]

10+ Coping Skills Worksheets for Adults and Youth (+ PDFs)

No matter how mentally healthy, resilient, or happy we are, every one of us goes through times when we need to cope with something difficult. Coping is something we all do, whether we do it consciously or without thinking. That might mean watching a funny movie when you're sad, calling […]

How To Measure Resilience With These 8 Resilience Scales

When we experience disaster, trauma, or distressing psychological issues, we usually react with grief and a range of negative emotions. This is, of course, a natural reaction to having our hopes dashed or our goals thwarted. However, such experiences are not only an inevitable part of life but virtually required […]

Shame Resilience Theory: How to Respond to Feelings of Shame

Shame Resilience Theory (SRT) is, as the name suggests, a theory concerned with how people respond to feelings of shame. It was first articulated in a 2006 paper by Brené Brown. Shame is a universal emotion that can have serious negative consequences if left unchecked, so examining what resilience in […]

27 Resilience Activities and Worksheets for Students and Adults (+PDFs)

You may think you’re not very resilient. The word “resilient” might bring to mind all of the struggles and setbacks that have plagued you in your life. You might be thinking about how hard it is to recover from some of the worst ones. You may be thinking, “I’m not […]

Psycap 101: Your Guide to Increasing Psychological Capital

Originally developed in an organizational context, the concept of Psychological Capital with its four pillars of Hope, Efficacy, Resilience, and Optimism (HERO) has been linked to job- as well as life satisfaction. While every component has its own characteristics and interventions, the concept of PsyCap is greater than the sum […]

Resilience in Positive Psychology: Bouncing Back & Staying Strong

Resilience in positive psychology refers to the ability to cope with whatever life throws at you. Some people are knocked down by challenges, but they return as a stronger person more steadfast than before. We call these people resilient. A resilient person works through challenges by using personal resources, strengths, […]