If, like me, you’ve ever found yourself wondering why there isn’t a practical guidebook for navigating life’s challenges, then you’ll be as pleased as I was to learn that Resilient is just such a book. In the same way that a guidebook to a city is not intended to be read cover to cover, the beauty and usefulness of this book is in its innovative layout. Resilient is cleverly structured so that you can jump into any of the 12 attractively titled chapters such as Grit, Courage or Aspiration and find immediately relevant guidance to help develop that psychological skill set.
Hanson provides a fascinating explanation of how fear, frustration and hurt are the reactive modes we all experience when the brain’s three basic needs of safety, satisfaction and connection are not met. He artfully distils years of research and expertise, informed by a large body of academic literature, into 12 primary inner strengths we can each develop. At the end of each chapter a bullet list of key points provides the reader with a checklist of achievable mental resources to be developed step-by-step for each inner strength.
I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of experiential practices smattered throughout such as “Feeling Successful”, “Appreciating Your Body” and “A Simple Meditation”. Each is short and immensely practical. And for readers who might like to dig a little deeper, a very useful additional resources section is helpfully divided by topics such as compassion, mindfulness, gratitude and motivation. This is one of those books that will become dog-eared and creased from good use.
You could think of it as a mental strength training manual where we are honing and toning our ability to live with peace, contentment and love. Very useful indeed.
Reviewed by Natasha Rix, Director of Mindfulness Education Group