“Resilience is 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.” (Source: American Psychological Association).

Rick Hanson is the bestselling author of “Hardwiring Happiness” and “Just One Thing.”

In “Resilient,” he examines what resiliency is, why we need it, and now to nurture it. Hanson believes that we can learn to be more resilient, and that we can reprogram the brain’s pathways through mental exercise.

The book is structured around four principles

  1. We need to recognize what is true;
  2. Find resources to cope;
  3. Regulate our thoughts, feelings and actions; and
  4. Relate to our outside world.

Within each of the four principles are three tools. These 12 tools are skills that can be learned and practiced. For example, under “recognizing what is true,” the three tools are compassion (self-compassion and compassion for others), mindfulness, and the ability to learn throughout life.

The book takes you through a progression. It starts with preparing you (the internal) and ends with how you deal with your environment (the external). That includes other people. Each of the chapters stand alone as a lesson. The reader may focus on a need that is personally important, read a chapter a month, or read the entire book.

The author explains the science underpinning much of the book: psychology, the chemistry of the human brain, and the role of evolutionary biology.

“Resilient” is a primer for anyone who wants to learn how to better cope with stress and adversity. As Hanson notes, there is no quick fix. Like all lasting change, it requires incremental steps and practice.

If you would like to see what other books we have in our borrowing collection check out the Frymoyer Online Catalog.

If you have a question or can’t find what you are looking for, contact the Fymoyer Community Health Resource Center at the UVM Medical Center. We can find the information for you or refer you to the best sources. Call us at 847-8821, e-mail us at ResourceCenter@UVMHealth.orgor. Visit us in the 3rd Level of the Main Pavilion at the Medical Center. Our website is www.UVMHealth.org/MedCenterCHRC

Alan P. Lampson, MLS, is the lead at the Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center at the UVM Medical Center.

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