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University of Washington

Becoming a Resilient Person - The Science of Stress Management

University of Washington via edX

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Everyone experiences adversity and stress at some level, whether it’s the pressure to perform in school or work, relationship problems, financial difficulties, or simply the number of tasks to do in a short period of time. All stress isn’t bad, but chronic stress can take its toll on our minds, bodies, and behavior. Research has shown that people can learn and use specific resilience skills (such as optimistic thinking, relaxation strategies, choosing one’s attention) and positive routines (good sleep, scheduling in fun, and so on) in order to better manage stress, bounce back quicker after a setback, be more effective in their academic and vocational pursuits, develop stronger relationships with others, be physically and mentally healthy, and be satisfied with their lives overall. In short, resilience is ordinary magic and can be learned. It does not necessarily mean that you have to be born resilient or get lucky in life.

The purpose of this course is to teach individuals the science behind becoming a resilient person. Stated simply, resilience is the ability to survive and thrive. Resiliency is not only about your ability to positively adapt in the face of adverse or challenging circumstances (that is, survive), but it is also about learning the positive skills, strategies and routines that enable you to live a happy, fulfilling, and meaningful life (in other words, thrive). This course gives you the permission to take care of yourself in order to effectively manage life stressors and do what matters most in life.

By the end of this course, you will have learned about the knowledge and skills that you can apply in your life now and in the future to be a resilient person.

Course goal:

The goal for this course is to give you permission to take care of yourself and empower you to be a resilient person. A resilient person is someone who:

  • purposely strives to be as mentally and psychically healthy as possible,
  • possesses the confidence to effectively cope with and manage stressful situations,
  • is compassionate towards self and others,
  • demonstrates grit or perseverance even in the face of adversity, and
  • focuses on the positive and fulfilling aspects of life.

_Course supporting objectives: _When you complete this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe why ‘functioning from the inside out’ is critical to becoming a resilient, effective person
    • Explain the benefits of resilience and how the specific skills translate into optimizing social-emotional wellbeing and doing what matters most in life
  • Directly practice a variety of resilience skills in different aspects of your life, including but not limited to:
    • Mindfulness practices
    • Strategies to manage intense emotions
    • Activities that induce positive emotions
    • Clarifying important personal values (that is, what matters most) and committing to behaving consistent with them
    • Making health lifestyle choices that are cheap and readily available, yet promote well-being
  • Describe why ‘practicing’ and integrating resilience skills into one’s life is critical to making them a habit and becoming a resilient person
  • Develop a resilience plan that serves as a roadmap for your future

Taught by

Clayton Cook


4.3 rating, based on 12 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Becoming a Resilient Person - The Science of Stress Management

  • Maxime Zabiégo completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.

    I took this course a while ago, so my memory might not be too reliable, but I remember a very pleasant course. Clayton Cook, the instructor, had a very soothing presence and I found his explanations clear and easy to understand. The course was helpf…
  • Nik

    Nik completed this course.

    A great course. Everything you wanted to know about stress and how to be resilient in the face of stress. Provides convincing arguments and easy, step-by-step suggestions. If you are willing to follow through on the course's recommendations, it has the potential to transform your life. It has already motivated me to start changing my life for the better.
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  • Huy

    Huy completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.

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