Resilience: A Skill that Can Be Learned, Part 2

Yesterday, on the blog we talked about how you can strengthen your resilience, which can be a tool in our emotional first aid kit. Here are some more ways that you can strengthen this skill! Remember, you can also use these skills to help others improve their resiliency.


  1. Set Goals: This skill involves learning how to set achievable goals, assessing your plan to reach the goal, and carrying out the steps to meet the goal. Following through with goals you set for yourself is not always easy, but it can be extremely rewarding when you commit yourself to a task and carry through with it. When you are setting goals for yourself, consider where you are when you start and set checkpoints for yourself as you go along to make sure you are on track to finish.
  2. “Hunt the Good Stuff”: Have you ever heard of counting your blessings? This idea is similar: students in the program learn to identify three of life’s good things daily and to consider why these things happened and what they can do to prolong life’s “good stuff.” If a friend is having a bad day, help them hunt the good stuff in their life as well! After all, they have you as a friend.
  3. Manage Energy: This skill involves practicing breathing techniques and gaining control of your thoughts, emotions, and physical reactions. If you have a loved one is going through a hard time, help them manage their energy by doing breathing exercises with them.
  4. Avoid thinking traps and put life into perspective: thinking traps are something we have all experienced—it’s when you are already feel down and suddenly you get stuck in a spot you can’t get out of. When this happens, we might start “catastrophizing,” and it’s always good to take a step back, realize this is normal, and examine the evidence. Maybe you’re thinking your best friend isn’t answering your text because they have a new best friend! Well, what if they aren’t answering because they broke their phone, or they just found out they won unlimited Chipotle! Realistically, these things could be the case, but before we have more information we need to avoid the thinking trap of jumping to conclusions. We need to put it in perspective before acting.

Check out this app to help you stop, breathe, and think.

  1. Detect Icebergs: this goes together with avoiding thinking traps. This skill helps you determine what is causing you to feel those very strong emotions. We all have things we are passionate about, and talking through them can help us manage our emotional responses.
  2. Solve Problems: An effective way to approach problems is to break them down, so you can ascertain what part of the situation you may have overlooked. Then you can figure out what is the true root of the problem. A lot of times we can look right past what is causing a problem, and it can help to get an external opinion about it by talking to a trusted advisor. Parents, teachers, doctors, and therapists are great resources for this.
  3. Identify character strengths in self and others: This skill is about focusing on your own strengths and working toward your best self, as well as strengthening your relationships with others. Find the strengths you value most and work toward strengthening those traits, then you can rely on these strengths if you encounter a challenge.

What do you think about these ways to strengthen resilience? How can you use these tools in your own life? Tell us your thoughts below!

Moderator ★

Hi! The moderator is a research team member with a background in behavioral health. We're here to help answer your questions and stimulate some great conversation! We don't provide therapy and are not available 24-7 so please if you are in crisis, go to our crisis page: We look forward to talking to you!

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