Resilient by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
If a book has ever jumped out at me as one that I needed to read, it is Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness by Rick Hanson, Ph.D. Although it was originally published in 2018, it has 2020 written all over it.
Hanson is a psychologist, bestselling author, and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. Resilient delves into topics including mindfulness, confidence, courage, intimacy, and generosity. The book uses detailed examples and exercises to teach the reader how to calm the mind and optimize opportunities to connect with others.
Some of my favorite quotes from Resilient include:
“You can’t always count on the world, other people, or even your own body. But you can count on durable inner strengths hardwired into your nervous system — and this book is about growing them.” (Introduction)
“Thankfulness is not about minimizing or denying hassles, illness, loss, or injustice. It is simply about appreciating what is also true: such as flowers and sunlight, paper clips and fresh water, the kindness of others, easy access to knowledge and wisdom, and light at the flick of a switch.” (Gratitude)
“To establish a calmer baseline for yourself plus recover more quickly after stress, set aside a few minutes or more to relax deeply many times a week. Also look for little moments to relax in the flow of your day, especially when the needle of your personal stress-o-meter starts creeping up into yellow, orange, or red. In our overheated culture, relaxation needs to be a conscious priority.” (Calm)
If I have one complaint about Resilient, it is that portions of the book read like a neuroscientist wrote it. If you are a geek like me, this won’t bother you, but some readers might be more inclined to put the book down or at least skip around to the parts that appear to be more interesting and helpful to them personally (which is always a valid approach to reading a new book in my opinion).
If you are interested in becoming more resilient (and who isn’t these days?) Hanson’s book is a helpful addition to your self-care toolkit.
Rating 3 ½ out of 5 stars
Copyright 2018 by Rick Hanson and Forrest Hanson
Liz is a technical writer by day and a humor writer by night. She lives in Minnesota with her two teenage daughters and their cats, Beau and Phoebe. When Liz is not reading, writing, or searching for new books to review, she can be found practicing yoga or enjoying time with friends and family — usually around a fireplace or a lake. She is savoring the time that she still has with her daughters under her roof, yet she secretly dreams of being an empty nester who can travel more and not have to worry about other people borrowing her socks.