Resilience is a process of leveraging external and internal assets and resources to match the challenges you face within our context or setting.  External resources often include your social supports: family, colleagues, and relationships in your life.  To increase your internal resources, you want to increase your capacity to  cultivate positive emotions and cultivate your sense of purpose.  Those three keys: relationships, positive emotions, and a sense of purpose when leveraged together are the foundation to experiencing resilience.


The Keys to Resilience


So what can I do to help myself experience more resilience?  Drs. Polo DeCano and Clay Cook (2014) developed the following list of REFRESHERs based on an extensive review of resilience literature.  Use the REFRESHERs as a guide to the behavioral practices you can integrate into your days to help you experience more resilience and well-being:


Behavioral practices for resilience


How do I foster positive emotions?  I’m feeling stuck and my brain keeps pulling me back to what is going wrong. Practicing gratitude is one of the most simple and effective ways to help break the cycle of rumination on negative thoughts and feelings.


Cultivate a positive lens


Looking for additional resilience resources?

UW Resilience Lab

The UW Resilience Lab (UWRL) endeavors to bring the UW community into connection with one another through programming that normalizes the wide-ranging experiences of hardship, failures, and setbacks our community members face through the cultivation of kindness, compassion, and gratitude toward each other and ourselves.

The Whole U

The Whole U fosters community, promotes holistic wellness, and shares the great perks available to UW faculty and staff.

Interested in having the Assistant Dean for Well-Being work with your team? Contact Anne at for more information.