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The Core Tenets of Resilience With Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe

This week, we welcome Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe, an expert in human resiliency and performance at Trent University. Dr. Robyne discusses the misconceptions surrounding resilience, emphasizing that it isn’t just about grit and toughness but also about proactive coping strategies. She outlines five key tenets essential for building resilience: belonging, perspective, acceptance, hope, and humor. Through her research, Dr. Robyne shows us how understanding and practicing these principles can help in navigating life’s challenges more effectively.

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Key Moments


“Having your person in your corner is absolutely key. For some, it could be your family system; but, for others, it could be a teacher, a coach, a community member. It’s this one person that doesn’t let you give up on yourself.”


“I think there’s a different purpose in different seasons of our life, and it’s this evolution of ourselves and our character.”


“Ask yourself, what’s your favorite self? What are you doing? Who’s around you? Why does it feel so good? This is actually pretty helpful to do some of that good work, as well.”

Connect with Dr. Robyne



Full Transcript

A bit more from the episode:

Understanding Resilience

Resilience, as Dr. Robyne explains, is not an inherent trait but a skill that can be developed. She breaks down the concept into manageable components, making it accessible for everyone. “Resilience involves a combination of thoughts, behaviors, and actions that anyone can learn and develop,” she notes. This perspective demystifies resilience, presenting it as a practical and achievable goal.

Practical Strategies for Everyday Resilience

Dr. Hanley-Dafoe shares several practical strategies for building resilience. She highlights the importance of psychological flexibility, which involves adapting to changing circumstances with an open and positive mindset. This flexibility allows individuals to handle stress more effectively and maintain a sense of control.

One key strategy is the practice of gratitude. Dr. Hanley-Dafoe suggests incorporating gratitude into daily routines as a way to shift focus from negative to positive aspects of life. This simple practice can improve mood and overall well-being.

Another important aspect of resilience is self-compassion. Dr. Hanley-Dafoe emphasizes treating oneself with kindness, especially during challenging times. “Self-compassion helps us to navigate difficulties without falling into self-criticism,” she explains.

Managing Stress

Managing stress is crucial for mental wellness. Dr. Hanley-Dafoe discusses various coping mechanisms that can be integrated into daily life. These include mindfulness practices, such as deep breathing exercises and meditation, which help calm the mind and reduce stress levels.

She also advocates for physical activity as a powerful tool for stress management. Regular exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Even short bursts of activity can have a significant impact on stress levels and overall mental health.

The Role of Consistency

Dr. Hanley-Dafoe underscores the importance of consistency in building resilience. Small, consistent practices, when integrated into daily routines, can lead to significant improvements in mental wellness. She encourages listeners to start with manageable goals and gradually build on them.

In conclusion, Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe’s insights provide a practical roadmap for anyone looking to enhance their resilience and mental wellness. By incorporating her strategies into everyday life, individuals can develop the skills needed to thrive in the face of adversity.

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.



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