The goal of resiliency is to understand, assess, plan, and apply resiliency practices that manage stress in a manner that fosters personal and professional development. Those who practice resiliency skills are better able to cope with the stressors that confront people everyday. The following section will be a brief introduction to the resiliency skills taught in the Supportive Education for Returning Veterans (SERV) courses offered here at the University of Arizona. For more information contact our Director of SERV and Professor of Practice in Psychology Dr. Michael Marks at

1. Goal Setting
We set goals for ourselves each day, but we seldom think about the process we are going through as we establish goals. Purposively setting goals allows us to mark progress and make adjustments.

2. Eat Right
Good nutrition is foundational for strengthening mental, social and spiritual fitness. Nutritional change can show positive results in a very short period of tine to create a sense of control and accomplishment leading to increased self-esteem.

3. Exercise Might
Exercise fosters a strong heart and lower resting heart rate, maintenance of a healthy body, stress management, enhanced physical appearance, positive impact on self-esteem, and increased resiliency.

4. Sleep Tight
Without quality sleep our performance and judgment are dramatically impaired.

5. Relaxation Chill Out
By learning to breathe correctly you can learn to reduce your arousal reaction to stress and thus break the cycle of arousal, vigilance and increased stress.

6. Perspective Views
One of the more powerful ways you can reduce stress in your life is to change the way you perceive an event or person. Accept the situation that confronts you with a realistic view, neither minimizing nor “catastrophizing”.

7. Self-Defeating Thoughts 
Thoughts or beliefs drive our feelings and behaviors. These thoughts or beliefs are “modifiable.” Self-defeating thoughts have negative consequences for us and impact our relationships and our ability to enjoy life.

8. ABCs Point Out
You likely want to immediately make the discomfort and stresses associated with the problem go away. But, you need to first understand the patterns in thinking that create the problem. While the ABCs approach can be an effective skill for determining self-defeating thoughts or beliefs that bring about undesirable consequences, ABCs can be used to identify robust beliefs than subsequently bring about very desirable consequences.

9. Empathy
Often characterized as the ability to “put oneself into another’s shoes,” empathy does not necessarily imply compassion, sympathy, or empathic concern, Empathy is the ability to see things for another’s perspective and is important to critical thinking. Recognizing and developing this skill allows you to be more useful contributor to providing social support.

10. Wins & Losses
People with high self-esteem are more likely to persist on task because their focus is on process and not outcome — our more profound life lessons can come from our failures.

11. Reaching Out
Resilient people understand that they can’t do it alone. Recognizing and developing this skill encourages social support.

12. Social Support
One of the most important skills in promoting resiliency attitudes is a good support system. It is a source of strength and it also provides opportunity to offer support and encouragement to others. Developing and acknowledging one’s strengths can help us become more self-efficacious. Self-efficacy is the belief that one is is capable of performing in a certain way so as to achieve a certain goal.

13. Make It Yourself Resiliency
Because extraordinary situations arise, Make-It-Yourself-Resiliency is purposeful process of developing a resiliency skill to better meet person’s or communities specific need.