8 Ways to Build Resilience

8 Ways to Build Resilience is a video series, presented by your Health Peers, based on Bouncing Forward. In each video, you can learn about an aspect of resilience and follow along with an activity.

The 6 building blocks of cultivating resilience are: social connection, self-awareness, shifting perspective, goal setting, solving problems, and self-compassion.

View the full YouTube playlist

Social Connection

Social connection and quality relationships are one of the building blocks to cultivating resilience and maintaining positive well-being. In fact, a Harvard study found that close relationships are the strongest predictors of a healthy and happy life.


Being self-aware means noticing and understanding your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, and understanding how they affect both you and those around you. There are multiple ways to build self-awareness including knowing your strengths, recognizing and naming emotions, and practicing mindfulness.

Adrianna and Mia, two of your Health Peer Educators, are here to discuss what character strengths are and how to use them to improve your well-being.

Have you ever wondered how to put your emotions into words? Meaghan, one of your SFU Health Peer Educators, is here to discuss how to practice self awareness through recognizing and naming the emotions we feel.

Feel more grounded in the present! Mariel, another one of your Health Peers, is here to discuss how to become more self-aware through practicing mindfulness. Follow along with the exercise.

Shifting Perspective

Shifting perspective is the third building block of cultivating resilience. Our perception of events can alter our feelings around them; the lens through which we look at the world has a big impact on how we experience our lives. One way to shift our perspective is to practice gratitude.

In this video, Emma and Jessica, your Health Peer Educators, are here to discuss practicing gratitude.

  • Create a bliss list of things that make you happy.

Goal Setting

Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivations, and achieving goals builds your self-confidence. Goals can help you during times of adversity by offering a roadmap out of challenging situations.

Have you ever wondered how to make goals that you’ll actually stick to? Anna, one of your Health Peer, along with Tyna and Sid from SFU Recreation, are here to discuss SMART goal setting.

Take a screenshot of the summary of the SMART principles at 7:15 in the video.

Solving Problems

When faced with roadblocks, you can draw on your problem-solving skills to overcome or navigate around them. Research shows that grit - perseverance, even in the face of adversity - is a key component of success.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed and struggled with balancing your priorities? Tamara and Aleisha, two of your SFU Health Peer Educators, are here to discuss how to build grit and find balance.


Self-compassion is the practice of treating yourself compassionately in situations where you might perceive inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. A large body of research shows that self-compassionate individuals suffer less and thrive more.

Have you ever felt like you are an imposter (like you are a fraud, that you are the only one who doesn't know how to do something, or that you don’t deserve your achievements)? This feeling is called Imposter Syndrome. Perla, one of your Health Peers, and Dr. Lara Aknin and Dr. Brian Fraser, two of your SFU professors, are here to discuss how to overcome it.

Explore more in-depth the series' content by completing Bouncing Forward, a free, non-credit Canvas course.