The Resilience Perscription

The Resilience Perscription

By Dr. Dennis Charney


1. Positive Attitude

• Optimism is strongly related to resilience.
• Optimism is in part genetic, but it can be learned (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).
Neurobiological Mechanisms: Reward circuits, converse of learned helplessness

2. Cognitive Flexibility Through Cognitive Reappraisal

• Traumatic experiences can be re-evaluated by altering the event’s perceived value and meaningfulness.
• One can receive a benefit from stress and trauma: one can reframe, assimilate, accept and recover. These skills can be learned.
• Failure is an essential ingredient for growth.
 Neurobiological Mechanisms: Memory Reconsolidation, Cognitive Control of Emotion, Memory Suppression

3. Embrace a Personal Moral Compass

• Develop a set of core beliefs that very few things can shatter.
• For many, faith in conjunction with strong religious and/or spiritual beliefs is associated with resilience.
• Altruism has been strongly related to resilience. Survivor Mission.
Neurobiological Mechanisms: Neural Model of Human Morality, Altruism and Human Evolution

4. Find a Resilient Role Model

• Role models can be found in one’s own life.
• Imitation is a very powerful mode of learning.
Neurobiological Mechanisms: Neuronal Imprinting of Human Values

5. Face Your Fears

• Fear is normal and can be used as a guide; facing your fears can increase your self-esteem.
• Learn and practice skills necessary to move through the fear.
Neurobiological Mechanisms: Extinction, Stress Inoculation

6. Develop Active Coping Skills

• Resilient individuals use active, rather than passive, coping skills.
• Minimize appraisal of threat, create positive statements about oneself, seek support of others.
Neurobiological Mechanisms: Functional Neuroanatomy of Fear Mechanisms

7. Establish and Nurture a Supportive Social Network

• Very few can “go it alone”; humans need a safety net during times of stress.
• Considerable emotional strength accrues from close relationships with people and organizations.
Neurobiological Mechanisms: Cognitive Neuroscience of Human Social Behavior

8. Attend to Physical Well-Being

• Physical exercise has positive effects on physical hardiness, mood, and improves self-esteem.
Neurobiological Mechanisms: Effects on neurogenesis, cognition, regulation of emotion, immune function, etc.

General Principles
(we underestimate capacities of Mind, Brain, Body)

9. Train Regularly and Rigorously in Multiple Areas

• Change requires systematic and disciplined activity.
• Concentrate on training in multiple areas: emotional intelligence, moral integrity, physical endurance.

10. Recognize, Utilize and Foster Signature Strengths

• Learn to recognize your character strengths and engage them to deal with difficult and stressful situations

~ By Dr. Dennis Charney


Will Smoot forwarded this to me and I thought some of you out there might benefit from it as well. 

Keep going!


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