Resilience is your ability to adapt well and recover quickly after stress, adversity, trauma or tragedy. If you have a resilient disposition, you are better able to maintain poise and a healthy level of physical and psychological wellness in the face of life's challenges. If you're less resilient, you're more likely to dwell on problems, feel overwhelmed, use unhealthy coping tactics to handle stress, and develop anxiety and depression.

You can develop resilience by training your attention so that you're more aware of the present moment. You use purposeful, trained attention to decrease the negative thoughts in your mind and bring greater focus on the present moment. Forming a resilient disposition includes:

  • Fostering acceptance
  • Finding meaning in life
  • Developing gratitude
  • Addressing spirituality
  • Retraining your attention

Programs incorporating these approaches can improve your resiliency, enhance your quality of life and decrease your stress and anxiety.

Read more about resilience.


A resilient approach leads to addressing problems rather than avoiding them, a positive, optimistic outlook and a flexible, adaptive disposition. Research has shown that these techniques engage the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that regulates emotion, thinking and behavior.

Resilience training empowers you to change unconstructive behaviors, actions and ways of thinking. Training helps you develop four types of resilience to lead a more balanced and healthier life:

  • Cognitive — preserving attention, memory, judgment and problem-solving skills
  • Physical — maintaining well-being through regular exercise, a healthy diet and restful sleep
  • Emotional — approaching life with a realistic, balanced and flexible disposition and addressing rather than avoiding problems
  • Spiritual — practicing and keeping in mind the concepts of forgiveness, acceptance, compassion, and true meaning and purpose
  • Dedicated program. The Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota offers resilience education and training to help you develop positive strategies to manage stress and foster resilience in your life. The program offers individual or group sessions in the Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) program.
  • Innovative approach. Traditional resilience training often exceeds 40 hours. Mayo Clinic's integrative medicine specialists provide resilience education and training in one or two 90- to 120-minute sessions. The vast majority of people who have participated in Mayo's resilience training say they experienced significant and positive changes in their well-being and outlook on life.
  • Integrated care. At Mayo Clinic, resilience education and training is integrated with other medical care to achieve well-being of the mind, body and spirit. Doctors take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your needs and then teach you the most appropriate resilience skills and strategies. Sessions are sometimes followed by DVD-based instruction in paced-breathing meditation.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Specialists in the Complementary Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota offer resilience training.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Doctors in the Complementary Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota continually develop and improve treatments to complement conventional medical care. Recommendations are based on research that demonstrates the effectiveness of treatments.

Mayo Clinic researchers conducted three pilot studies addressing the potential components and benefits of a resilience training and education program. Resilience training for adults is now being studied.

Mayo researchers are also piloting community education sessions to teach the concepts and benefits of resilience training to more people, with the goal of future expansion to group education classes.


See a list of publications by Mayo doctors on resilience training on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Oct. 20, 2011