Resilience Training: How to Master Mental Toughness & Thrive

Resilience TrainingDo 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 the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences.”

At first glance, resilience can seem a lot like learning to ‘grin and bear it’. It’s not. Nor is it avoiding trauma or resisting change. In fact, flexibility is a huge part of resilience, as we’ll see in this article. The key point (and brilliant news) for now, is that resilience is very much a learned pattern of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors (, 2018).

In this article, we’ll outline and discuss several ways you can learn to develop your mental toughness through resilience training.

Before you read on, we thought you might like to download our three Resilience Exercises for free. These engaging, science-based exercises will help you to effectively deal with difficult circumstances and give you the tools to improve the resilience of your clients, students, or employees.

What is Resilience Training?

Defined as “a dynamic process encompassing positive adaptation within the context of significant adversity” by Luthar and colleagues (2000), empirical research shows that resilience can be shaped by how we interpret the adversities we face (Yeager & Dweck, 2012). Meaning that it’s neither purely a factor of our traits or our surroundings, but can be improved, developed, and nurtured (Kim-Cohen, 2007).

Put yet another way—yes, we can learn and teach resilience. And resilience training is one way to achieve this.

Aims of Resilience Training

The Mayo Clinic (2018a) advocates developing our thought processes to be more positive. Specifically, by changing the way our brain interprets events and situations and enhancing our focus on the better parts of our lives. As we’ll see later in this article, positive thinking is also a key part of the US Army’s Master Resilience Training (MRT) program, too.

In organizational literature, we also find support for the idea of training and controlling our attention alongside drawing on our strengths when trying to develop resilience. Cal Crow is the Center for Learning Connections’ Program Director and co-founder, and in an interview with MindTools, he cites key aspects to focus on during resilience training:

  • Developing an optimistic outlook for the future;
  • Developing solid goals, as well as the desire to accomplish them;
  • Developing our compassion and empathy; and
  • Developing our focus on what we can control, rather than what we can’t.

The UK-based Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has also published literature on how practitioners, individuals, and organizations alike can develop resilience – it covers a huge range of different approaches. Amongst them, resilience training involves:

  • Understanding and working on our internal locus of control;
  • Developing our emotional regulation and awareness;
  • Developing our self-efficacy;
  • Learning to tolerate ambiguity;
  • Developing realistic optimism; and more.

Is Mental Toughness Training the Same as Resilience Training?

Not quite, because mental toughness and resilience themselves aren’t technically identical.

Mental Toughness can be thought of as more akin to ‘Mental Hardiness’, a personality trait identified by psychologist Suzanne Kobasa in her 1979 study on managerial stress. Mental Toughness and Resilience are often colloquially used to refer to each other, despite a study revealing that the two are positively related, yet distinct concepts (Cowden et al., 2016).

Resilience, on the other hand, is more commonly considered a process. Luthar, Cicchetti, and Becker’s (2000) critical appraisal of the resilience construct takes a good, close look at how resilience has been defined very similarly by different researchers. These include:

  • resilience as good adaptation to risk exposure (Kim-Cohen, 2007);
  • resilience as a developmental progression to encompass new strengths (Cicchetti, 2010); and
  • resilience as the possession of social assets, such as close relationships with others (Hunter, 2012);

So, we can compare these definitions with other researchers’ findings and distinguish the concept from Mental Toughness in at least two clear ways.

First, resilience as a term is often discussed alongside the idea of ‘protective factors’ used to deal with adversity (Luthar et al., 2000). Mental Toughness, on the other hand, applies also to positive situations (Cowden et al., 2016).

Second, where resilience embodies protective factors that can also be external, Mental Toughness is more concerned with the personal attributes impacting on how difficulties are appraised and approached (Gucciardi et al., 2009).

What’s learnable is very often also teachable, and the US Army made significant headway in this by developing its own resilience training program for soldiers.

The Army Resilience Program

A Resilience Program developed by the Army

The US Army’s resilience program is called Master Resilience Training (MRT). MRT is a 10-day course on developing resilience both during combat and outside it.

MRT initially stemmed from the UoP’s Penn Resilience Program (PRP), which targeted depression prevention in soldiers.

To make the program more accessible to all military personnel and their families, Army officials rolled out the campaign to all soldiers a few years ago. In doing so, they also developed a more proactive approach to building personal resilience and readiness (Taylor & Colvin, 2012; Kimmons, 2016).

Participants in the MRT course look at what resilience means in theory and in practice. MRT looks at how resilience involves using critical thinking, an understanding of the concept itself, and learned skills to deal with challenges, and ‘bounce back’ (Taylor & Colvin, 2012).

On completing the course, soldiers and learners are equipped with a toolkit for overcoming hardship and reassessing challenges. MRT emphasizes the idea of viewing adversity as transient, localized, and manageable through one’s own effort (Taylor & Colvin, 2012).

3 resilience exercises

Download 3 Free Resilience Exercises (PDF)

These detailed, science-based exercises will equip you or your clients to recover from personal challenges and turn setbacks into opportunities for growth.

What Does the Master Resilience Training (MRT) Involve?

The MRT program is delivered by trainers to soldiers, but also teaches soldiers to pass on these skills to others. This section looks at the structure and content of the joint Positive Psychology Center and US Army initiative.

MRT components and modules

During MRT, US Army soldiers go through seven different modules that cover three main components (Reivich et al., 2011; Griffith & West, 2013; US Army Reserve, 2018):

1. Preparation – This covers psychoeducation on the nature of resilience, the mental factors behind it, and how to grow them. These mental factors, or MRT competencies, include:

  • self-awareness;
  • self-regulation;
  • mental agility;
  • optimism;
  • connections; and
  • character strengths.

The Preparation component also addresses how to go about identifying and recognizing these strengths both internally and in others, a concept that is also found in the ‘I am’ aspect of the International Resilience Research Program, which we briefly introduce later.

2. Sustainment – the focus of the Sustainment component is to reinforce and apply the resilience skills covered in the Preparation aspect of the course. Soldiers learn to recognize and anticipate what being deployed can involve psychologically, as well as ways to remain resilient and nurture resilience in peers.

3. Enhancement – based heavily on sports psychology principles, the enhancement component covers one module. Here, MRT teaches goal-setting, confidence-building, energy management, and more.

Skills taught by the MRT

The specific skills taught through the program include at least twelve skills – goal setting, problem-solving, ‘hunting the good stuff’, activating thoughts, events and consequences, energy management, avoiding thinking traps, detecting icebergs, putting things in perspective, mental games, real-time resilience, and identifying character strengths. Here’s a look at how a few of these work, and you can find more at the US Army Reserves website.

Avoid thinking traps – recognizing and identifying cognitive distortions, as well as negative self-talk can be done through the use of critical thinking. Where maladaptive thought processes exist, these can be challenged and replaced with more proactive and realistic, rational thinking patterns;

‘Hunt the good stuff’ – helping to challenge negativity biases, which links back to cognitive restructuring (Hope et al., 2010; Ackerman, 2018). By proactively identifying and appreciating the good things that occur each day, soldiers also unlock positive emotions and look at ways they can grow them.

Real-time Resilience – MRT teaches how to shut down counterproductive thought processes and facilitate better concentration on a current task. Through sentence-starter exercises, soldiers learn how to avoid frequently-encountered problems such as minimizing events psychologically and dismissing one’s own part in a problem.

Mental Games – exercises that take the focus off unhelpful or irrational thought patterns by stimulating the mind elsewhere with short, little games.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can use MRT techniques to help yourself or your client, we have included a handy Powerpoint later in the article. You can also read our article specifically about MRT.

How Will Resilience Training Benefit Your Organization?

Workplace BullyingWork is one of the most common sources of stress for many employees, a fact which is only exacerbated by how ‘connected’ and ‘interconnected’ we all are thanks to modern technology (CDCP, 2014).

Emails, texts, and constant reminders of our job can all add to feelings of being overwhelmed, which is why resilience is a key focal point for many work-based training initiatives.

Resilience training in the workplace typically aims to prevent feelings of burnout and lapsed motivation through several different means. Let’s look at the considerable benefits that such initiatives can have on both people and organizations as a whole.

Enhanced productivity

Resilience involves being able to focus our attention in more productive ways, as we’ve already seen. We as employees often receive myriad streams of different information—all incoming at once. With resilience, we’re better able to focus our attention on challenges that can be solved, as well as on the here and now.

Rather than becoming flustered or stressed by everything that we’re confronted with, we can learn to compartmentalize different things that need to be done. This helps reduce the efficiency burden of switching between different tasks in a less organized way, the APA has found (APA, 2006). And as the two go hand-in-hand, efficiency gains lead to enhanced productivity.

More adaptive responses to stress

Specialists also place something called response flexibility at the heart of resilience (Graham, 2013). It’s described as a neural platform responsible for our ability to “pause, step back, reflect, shift perspectives, create options and choose wisely” (Graham, n.d., in Fernandez, 2016). In the workplace, applying response flexibility allows us to respond to stressful stimuli – people and situations alike – with a useful ‘response’ rather than an emotional ‘reaction’.

How? It works by activating the logical and rational part of our brains, rather than the emotional one. Like this (Fernandez, 2016):

We encounter a difficult situation. Rather than reacting instantly, we hit a mental pause button. We take a moment to view the situation objectively, something Fernandez refers to as ‘decentering’. This allows us to take that step back before coming up with a more rational solution to the perceived problem.

The organizational benefits of this can be felt as a more calm and positive work environment.

Smoother organizational change

Organizations constantly need to adapt to the demands of a dynamic and complex business environment. Unfortunately, this is yet another source of job-related stress.

Resilience training equips employees to better handle these changes by viewing them less as unmanageable threats, and more as challenges to be tackled head-on. And where change is viewed as less threatening, we can foster more innovative cultures – a key facet of organizational adaptability and competitive advantage (Bloomberg, 2014).

Less absenteeism and greater employee wellbeing

In a cross-sectional study of 428 employees, a lack of personal and job resilience was found to predict psychosomatic strain, which in turn contributed to the risk of cardiovascular disease (Ferris et al., 2005).

Another study shows the usefulness of resilience training for reintegrating employees suffering from stress- or burn-out related injuries (Steensma et al., 2007). And yet more findings support the idea of resilience as a key resource for facilitating work engagement, the unofficial ‘opposite’ of absenteeism and work-related stress (Bakker et al., 2006).

So, there’s a lot of research to suggest to link resilience training to organizational benefits, and most of them link back to at least three key things (Carrington, 2013):

  • better coping skills;
  • reduced stress; and
  • greater employee wellbeing.

3 Mental Strength Training Courses

Mental strength training courses are quite frequently designed for athletes – but as we’ve already seen, the ability to overcome mental barriers is incredibly useful for everyone.

We’ve put together a short list of just a few courses that aim to help you or your clients develop mental strength. Of course, they won’t necessarily be easily accessible based on your geographic location, but hopefully, you can get an idea of what such courses generally cover.

1. Realizing Resilience Masterclass©

The Realizing Resilience Masterclass© is a complete, 6-module resilience training template for practitioners. Not only will you master the 6 most important pillars of resilience, but you’ll also learn to explain and implement them.

This masterclass includes all the materials you need to deliver science-based high-quality resilience training sessions and will enable you to help others deal with life’s challenges in a more resilient way.

The 6 comprehensive modules include:

Module 1 – Positive Psychology 2.0

This module introduces the ‘non-happyology’ side of positive psychology, acknowledging the darker side of the human experience. Building on this, you will gain the confidence to teach and apply positive psychology in a holistic and balanced way.

Module 2 – Resilience

In this module, you will learn what resilience is, what characterizes resilient people, and introduce the four key elements (attention, thoughts, action, and motivation) that we should focus on when we want to make people more resilient.

Module 3 – Attention

In this module, we focus on the first element of resilience, namely the way in which resilient people direct attention to positive and negative life events.

Module 4 – Thoughts

In this module, you will learn practical interventions for helping others direct their thoughts in a constructive way through concepts like benefit finding, appraisal theory, and explanatory style.

Module 5 – Action

Resilient people are able to cope effectively with both negative and positive life events. In this module, you will learn how to promote these effective coping styles.

Module 6 – Motivation

What motivates resilient people to effectively make it through times of adversity? In this module, you will learn to create a valuable starting point for developing more adaptive coping styles.

A truly comprehensive course, the Realizing Resilience Masterclass© is well constructed and will benefit you and your clients for a lifetime.

2. The University of Calgary

The University of Calgary runs an executive course called Strengthening Mental Toughness and Resilience that is developed to help leaders develop mental strength. It’s put together by Dr. Sloane Dugan, an Associate Professor in the Organizational Behavior and Human Resources area at the Haskayne School of Business.

The course covers experimental thinking and acting, challenging assumptions, and moving through discomfort and experience (Haskayne School of Business, 2018).

3. Mental Toughness Partners

Mental Toughness Partners is a global network of mental toughness practitioners, coaches, and HR advisers. They offer a range of mental strength training courses across Australia and the APAC region, as well as being aligned with the UK-based assessment developers AQR. Their mental toughness courses provide companies, individuals, and more with strategies and models for boosting mental strength and resilience.

As well as teaching activities and practical skills, their mental strength course guides participants through crafting a personal action plan for mental toughness. You can find out more on their website (Mental Toughness Partners, 2018).

Free Online Training for Building Personal Resilience

Online coaching softwareThe internet is full of training programs that you can use to help your clients (or yourself) build personal resilience.

In fact, we’ve got our own special page right on our website that’s packed with resilience activities for building personal resilience. You’ll find a wealth of exercises, psychoeducational takeaways, and videos that can easily be used alongside the PowerPoint, books, and more included in this article.

If you’re looking for a pre-existing structured approach elsewhere online to supplement these, here are a few useful training programs.

CABA: Building your resilience

CABA is a charity that supports accounting professionals in the UK. Their free online resilience training workshop, Building Your Resilience, is free for all to use, but you’ll need to create an account to access the course.

Once inside, the course comprises three presentation videos that allow you to progress through the material at your own page. It covers aspects such as:

  • factors that influence personal and professional resilience;
  • how to develop a resilient mindset and attitude;
  • dealing with stress;
  • the ‘S.A.D.A’ Cycle (Shock, Anger, Depression, and Acceptance);
  • developing and building on your existing resilience; and
  • constructing a personal, actionable plan for the same.

The Building your Resilience course videos take around 1-2 hours to complete in total, and you can also download the slides as PDFs. There is also a downloadable questionnaire to help you ‘assess’ your personal resilience as you answer questions on a seven-point Likert scale from Strongly Disagree (1) to Strongly Agree (7). These include:

  • Very little upsets me, I take things as they come
  • I have faith in my ability to cope when life is difficult
  • I can find the funny side of most things

You can access the workshop on the CABA website.

Deakin University: Professional Resilience: Building Skills to Thrive

FutureLearn also currently offers free online resilience personal training in the form of a 2-week, self-paced course. Developed by Deakin University, it’s called Professional Resilience: Building Skills to Thrive and takes approximately 3 hours each week to work through the material.

The course begins with an overview of resilience and its importance in society today. It then introduces the learner to steps for developing resilience, followed by how they can:

build resilient capabilities and skills;
build resilient self-care practices; and
build resilient values and engagement.

It also guides the user through creating a personal resilience plan, much like the CABA course above.

The University of Washington: Becoming a Resilient Person – The Science of Stress Management

Designed by the University of Washington, this edX program is called Becoming a Resilient Person – The Science of Stress Management. It is currently archived, which means that it’s not possible to get a grade from doing this online personal resilience training. However, the course materials – videos, labs, tools, and quizzes are still available for reading. The course aims to empower learners to become more resilient by:

  • ‘functioning from the inside out’;
  • practicing mindfulness and using strategies to do so;
  • inducing positive emotions;
  • clarifying your own personal values;
  • making healthier lifestyle choices; and
  • dealing with negative or intense emotions more effectively.

Like the other courses, it also ends with an overview of how you can develop your own resilience roadmap.

How to Give Your Own Resilience Workshop

Resilience training workshop

With so many resources available, giving your own resilience training session shouldn’t be too difficult.

We’ve included at least five Powerpoints in later sections that make great workshop aids.

You’ll need to decide on the type of workshop you plan to deliver, and the core components that you plan to guide clients through. In the next section, we cover some of these key aspects in greater depth.

The Core Components of Effective Resilience Training

As we’ve just seen, there’s no hard and fast way to go about resilience training. An approach that works well for the organizational executive may not address the particular physical challenges faced by an athlete, or soldier, for instance. However, there are several core components that everyone can gain from through resilience training.

This list is not exhaustive, but in the next sections we’ll aim to cover the key areas of:

  • Energy management;
  • Goal setting; and
  • Dealing with stress.

Energy Management

MRT trainer Daniel Grifo describes the concept in one of his Energy Management workshops, and we’ll use his brilliantly clear explanation to outline how energy management can be explained to clients.

According to Grifo, energy management involves understanding how our body activates energy in different states and learning to regulate them (Gilbert, 2016).

When we’re in a ‘fight or flight’ state, our adrenal systems release energy, oxygen, and blood to our muscles. We get an energy boost to respond physically to any perceived stressors in our environment.

When we’re in a ‘rest and digest’ state, our parasympathetic nervous system is more in control. Our bodies focus more on conserving energy, digestion, and processes such as regeneration and recovery.

Energy management involves regulating these energy activation states to have greater control over our own performance (Gilbert, 2016). Where we don’t require a sympathetic response – a rush of energy – our performance can be negatively impacted by this excessive response. Instead, we should be aiming for what Grifo calls our ‘individual zone of function’ (IZOF), and we can do this by practicing certain exercises and techniques.

When we think about the different activities we commonly carry out, we can identify our IZOF for those activities. This helps us better understand whether we want to increase or lower the energy levels that we want to use for those activities.

Deliberate, rhythmic breathing is one example of an exercise that can help us regulate any overly high energy levels we might experience in response to perceived stressors. Where we’re facing a public speaking scenario, for example, it can be helpful to decrease our energy levels and improve our performance by breathing deeply.

Goal Setting

Goal setting features heavily in resilience training programs across the world. The idea behind setting realistic and attainable goals is resilient individuals often demonstrate the tenacity and commitment to achieving their objectives. We’ll look at why, and how you can do the same by considering a few resilience training exercises that focus on this area.

Goal Setting and Resilience in MRT

The MRT program breaks down goal-setting into 7 steps for US Army soldiers (US Army Reserves, 2018):

Step 1: Define your goal;
Step 2: Know where you are right now;
Step 3: Decide what you need to develop;
Step 4: Make a plan for steady improvement;
Step 5: Pursue regular action;
Step 6: Commit yourself completely; and
Step 7: Consistently monitor your progress.

By setting goals, working towards them, and demonstrating a commitment to their achievement, soldiers work on developing sustained motivation and enhanced effort.

Goal setting and attainment has also been related to feelings of reward and to wellbeing within the organizational literature (Grant et al., 2009). Why? Because of the long-established relationships between goals and self-efficacy, the latter of which is central to resilience (Bandura, 1988; 1993; Schunk, 1990).

Resilience Training Using S.M.A.R.T Goals

We can apply these MRT learnings in our own resilience training directly quite easily. Or we can take the concept of Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound (S.M.A.R.T.) goals more broadly to develop our own approaches to the same thing.

We’ve also put some useful exercises together that may help you set goals for your clients’ resilience training or any workshops you may wish to run.

Dealing With Stress

Workplace StressStress is commonly thought of as coming under the more ‘clinical’ umbrella of psychology.

It’s important to remember, however, that resilience is about learning how to deal with stress rather than complete avoidance of stressors – a much more handy tool to have over the long term.

There are many ways to go about dealing with the stress that we feel in response to life’s events. Within the MRT program, soldiers and their families are encouraged to develop skills that help them ‘Hunt the Good Stuff’. Above, we discussed this in the context of cognitive reframing and how it means learning to challenge negative thought patterns. In fact, ‘Hunt the Good Stuff’ is a little broader than cognitive restructuring.

According to another US Army MRT trainer Master Sgt. Sheila Sango, this aspect of dealing with stress also involves proactively recognizing and analyzing the good things that happen to us. In her words, reflecting on the good things is a practice that “leads to better health, better sleep, feeling calm, better relationships, and greater life satisfaction”.

Keeping a gratitude journal is often an effective way to practice dealing with stress as part of resilience training. You’ll find some sentence stems below, from TherapistAid, that can be very useful if you are hoping to give your own resilience training workshop.

For each day, there are three different sentence stems that your client can complete, including:

  • One good thing that happened to me today…
  • Something good that I saw someone do…
  • Today I had fun when…
  • Something I accomplished today…
  • Something funny that happened today…

The worksheet is available in its full form from TherapistAid.

5 Useful Powerpoints (PPT)

To help others learn about resilience, have a look at the below shareable resources.

1. Learn to Cope: Be Resilient

Prepared by NDCEL member and consultant Rick Heidt, this Powerpoint is called ‘Learn to Cope: Be Resilient”. It includes ‘10 Ways to Build Resilience’ from the APA brochureThe Road to Resilience’, which encourages us to:

  1. Make connections – by building healthy relationships with those close to us, being open to accepting help, and helping others to strengthen our resilience;
  2. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems – by reassessing, reframing, and adapting our responses to stressful events. By looking forward to the future rather than focusing on the problem at hand;
  3. Accept that change is a part of living – and focusing on what we can, rather than cannot change;
  4. Move toward our goals – setting realistic targets and goals that we can accomplish…
  5. Take decisive actions – …and take decisive steps to achieve;
  6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery – we can learn from traumatic, stressful, or difficult events, use them to make ourselves stronger and more resilient;
  7. Nurture a positive view of ourselves – trusting our instincts and growing confidence in our own capabilities;
  8. Keep things in perspective – and avoid catastrophizing or losing our long-term view;
  9. Maintain a hopeful outlook – being optimistic, using visualization techniques; and
  10. Take care of ourselves – physically, emotionally, and socially.

The presentation also contains some group exercises and worksheets. A core set of these are based on the findings of the International Resilience Research Project (IRRP), which studied over 1200 families and children worldwide (Grotberg, 1998; International Resilience Project, 2018):

  • Knowing our resources: “I have”, where we think about our social support networks;
  • Knowing our strengths: “I am”, which comprise our virtues and the good things about ourselves; and
  • Knowing our abilities: “I can”, which covers how we can use our resources to train our resilience.

2. Rolling with the Punches

This resource from the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is put together by Dr. Amy Iversen of Kings College and Dr. Charlotte Feinman of University College, London. It’s called “Rolling With The Punches”.  (automatic download)

The presentation starts several definitions of resilience and how we can develop it, before moving on to focus on some of the unhelpful styles and behaviors that resilience can help us overcome. Negative thinking, perfectionism, procrastination, and self-criticism, among others.

The Powerpoint then moves on to introduce some of the more common self-directed questions that you or your clients can ask to challenge irrational thoughts, followed by some exercises. Here’s an example of one that you can use in your own workshops to guide others through stressful or traumatic situations.

When Disaster Strikes’, Iversen and Feinmann encourage you or your client to:

  • Count to 10 before reacting;
  • Find memories of when you HAVE coped;
  • Activate the calming part of your psyche;
  • Give someone a hug!;
  • Go for a walk outside; and/or
  • Find one positive thing you can learn from the situation.

Here you can access the NHS presentation (automatic download).

3. MRT Presentations

Elsewhere on our own website, we’ve also provided links to a range of other Powerpoints related to the US Army’s MRT program. They are:

4. Resiliency Ohio Powerpoint

This is a very in-depth presentation, and probably not one that would fall in the basket of succinct ‘grab and grow’ resource. Yet authors Shepler, Garner, and Rietz of Resiliency Ohio manage to provide an absolute wealth of easily understandable:

  • information;
  • statistics;
  • frameworks; and
  • tools about resilience.

All of them packed full of implications for therapists looking to guide clients through their own self-directed resilience training. It’s called “Insights on Resiliency: Utilizing Youth and Family-Based Evidence to Inform Policy and Practice”.

Download it from the Resiliency Ohio website.

World’s Largest Positive Psychology Resource

The Positive Psychology Toolkit© is a groundbreaking practitioner resource containing over 500 science-based exercises, activities, interventions, questionnaires, and assessments created by experts using the latest positive psychology research.

Updated monthly. 100% Science-based.

“The best positive psychology resource out there!”
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6 Relevant YouTube Videos

Videos are another great way to teach others about resilience. We share a selection of six impactful videos.

What Trauma Taught Me About Resilience

A TEDx Charlotte talk by Charles Hunt in which he relates his own personal experience of developing resilience. Touching yet educational, Hunt shares his learnings on resilience and overcoming.

Resilience as a Key to Success

Another TEDx talk, this time in Amsterdam by psychologist Elke Geraerts. She gives practical advice on how we view the brain as yet another muscle to be trained in developing resilience.

Building Resilience: 5 Ways to a Better Life

Psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Marmer from the UCLA Medical School talks about how we can develop resilience through several key suggestions.

Cultivating Resilience

Dr. Greg Eells discusses what resilience is about, and using it to turn difficulties into growth opportunities.

Emotional Resiliency & Mental Toughness

SEALFIT makes a strong motivational point while discussing the mental toughness that takes us through extreme training—and everything else: “Don’t quit in the darkness”.

A Very Happy Brain

The Mayo Clinic’s cartoon video on Resilience makes it more accessible for older children.

A Take-Home Message

Resilience gives us all kinds of mental and psychological strengths. We’ve looked at the ideas behind this ability and the diverse benefits that resilience training can give me, you, and all of us. From dealing with change to handling trauma or daily stress, resilience is a highly useful capacity to have.

Whether you are keen to develop your own or others’ resilience, the resources we’ve put together should hopefully be of great use. Ideally, there’s a little something that everyone can gain from in this post!

Thank you for reading! We’re looking forward to hearing any thoughts or ideas about resilience you might have in the comments.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Resilience Exercises for free.


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What our readers think

  1. Teddy Jenkins

    Awesome thanks.I used some of this stuff when I was in a Max Security Solitary Confinement Setting.Extreamly intense form of incarceration,see SHU Syndrome.I was there well over a decade,in an environment that is classified as Extream Sensory Deprevation in the pychology community.I wish I would have have this article then.I am still having problems to this day, but I know there is hope because of that experience and practical innovations like this.I am in a re-entry housing program and have been for a couple of years,I will definitely show this to the Director and possibly to the Board of Directors with the intention to inform policy.There is added benefits to enduring those harsh settings that I read about while looking for on survival vehicle back there at The Oklahoma State Penitentiary Special Housing Unit.I believe it was in a PsychologyToday article Head Outer Space it’s more than you Think, (2006) I think.I just lost a very good job and have been experiencing disfuction in all of my daily affairs I was playing to seek help in the Director setting today.I came across this at and it Instantly coincidentally inspired me and reminded me of the place I first read another article that played a role in maintaining my daily sanity, National Geographic article How to Survive (almost) Anything.While I was there The Administrators performed a study exclusive to the SHU Offenders,the head of that movement was an excellent phycologist Ms Jana Morgan.I has a plan to start to gather all that material today and begin dealing with this current situation/engagement reaction.And you are exactly right in this article.Thank you very much you dear woman.

  2. Madonna Adalin

    Interested for a training, tell me more

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Madonna,
      If you’d like some training (and exercises you can do yourself), I’d encourage you to check out our post here. 🙂
      Hope this helps!
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  3. Aldina

    Thank you very much for your work. Excelent

  4. Traci

    Hi Catherine,
    Thank you for such an informational packed article! I am doing some research on resiliency training and you provided a wealth of resources. Well done!

  5. Bianca

    I rarely found such an informed, well-written and detailed online resource. Thank you so much, I appreciate your effort and competency.

    • Catherine Moore

      Thanks Bianca, that’s very kind of you 🙂

  6. John Iverson

    Great article and great resources. Thank you so much!

    • Catherine Moore

      You’re most welcome, happy that you seem to have found them helpful!

  7. Leo Baptist

    Wonderful article and resource. Thank you for sharing. Learnt alot.

  8. Kendra Paulson

    What a wonderful article! Thank you so much for pulling these excellent resources for resilience together. It is much appreciated!

  9. Uzoagbala ikechukwu

    Lovely and useful article. Will start practising and helping others with the useful points that i have learnt from this. Thanks for this and God bless

  10. John Dima

    Relevant and very reliable information.
    I find it very useful and it enhance my profession as a counsellor.
    I hope everyone will learn a lot from you to be a successful person in their fields.

    • Cath

      Thank you John for your reply. I agree that a strong understanding of resilience can be very useful, both in professional practice and as individuals.
      Wishing you the best of luck in your counselling career!


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