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Resilience Training for Faculty & Staff

ThriveTMU sessions and events support staff and faculty in cultivating resilience in their students, as well as in their own lives. At the heart of ThriveTMU is the understanding that while 50% of our happiness is genetic, and 10% is at the hands of life circumstances, 40% is up to us. In other words, by shifting what we do and think, we can uplift our happiness set point. And a crucial component of our happiness is our ability to bounce back in the face of life’s hurdles and setbacks. 

Through ThriveTMU’s various offerings, including guest lectures, single workshops, and multi-session training sessions, faculty and staff can learn--for themselves and for their students--how mindfulness, gratitude, optimism, self-compassion, and grit combine to build resilience.

ThriveTMU Lectures and Training Topics include these one hour workshops:

Did you know that 40% of your life satisfaction is under your control? You can increase your life satisfaction by changing your actions and thoughts. Learn how mindfulness, gratitude, optimism, self-compassion and perseverance interact and combine to build resilience. This workshop will give you the tools to bounce back after things go wrong.

If you thought that ignoring your need for self-care, sleep, exercise, and downtime is the best way to get through university- you might want to re-think that plan. The alternative is to be strategic and thoughtful about how you study, plan your time, get enough sleep, and stay connected to thrive at university. This workshop will give you a few ideas about sailing through with confidence, joy, and a sense of accomplishment.

Our strengths are the values that we put into action. They are defined as something we enjoy and are good at. When we lead from our strengths, we feel empowered and energized, which can serve as a stepladder to our success.

Learn the key steps to creating a new habit (using contextual cues, rewards, action and friction) and how to avoid the pitfalls of giving up too soon.

What goes into feeling rested, balanced, and at ease? This session will guide participants through core models of well-being, putting wellness into action. Bring back a sense of vitality to your day-to-day.

Our attitude towards effort and learning can determine how we feel about our work and the feedback we receive from employers, instructors and peers. Cultivating this growth mindset can be a crucial factor in personal well-being, life satisfaction, risk-taking, promotions, and recognition in the workplace.

Have you ever felt so engaged and connected to what you were doing that time seemed to stand still or pass so quickly that you looked up and said to yourself: "Where did the day go?" Did you feel that you would rather be doing this than anything else? If you want to learn more about how to bring on this experience of optimal performance more often, join us to identify how to shape the critical external factors that contribute to the state of Flow and explain what is happening in your brain while in 'the zone.' 

EQ is about being able to recognize and label your feelings; identify emotions in others, and use your feelings to understand and guide your behaviour. It enables you to manage stressful situations, work under pressure, and delay/resist impulses. And, EQ helps you to adapt to change and pivot. So, how would tapping into your emotional intelligence improve your life?

We will focus on five strategies: uni-tasking with intention; managing the stress cycle and getting out of the fight-flight-freeze-fawn response; reframing your attitude through hope and optimism; refreshing your body before engaging in complex tasks; and focusing on the values that led you to chose your career path, what purpose and meaning it gives you, and how it enhances your well-being.

We all put things off that we’d rather not do. So how do we get started? A simple strategy is first to notice when you plan to postpone a task. Then reframe the plan to delay the task as the trigger to get started. "A job begun is a job half done." One of the most straightforward ways to sidestep procrastination is to follow your plan, not your mood. A related concept is the issue of time management: Why do some of us experience a sense of being starved for time while others have the subjective feeling that they have an abundance of time? Again, strategies to craft time affluence are simple and straightforward.

Many of us have first aid kits at home: a shelf or box filled with band-aids, antiseptic ointment, antihistamines etc. Take this opportunity to build a joy kit to turn to when it is time to inner-resource your need for comfort. You can easily access beautiful memories and enjoy your favourite photos, videos, music, scents and textures.

What if mistakes could be reframed as an opportunity to Mean I Start to Acquire Knowledge, Experience and Skills? Carol Dweck's work on Growth Mindset will be explored and applied to post-secondary contexts.

"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you." - Anne Lamott.

In all that you know about stress management, are you still finding it challenging to implement the strategies that work? What would self-care look like if you could free yourself from the myths and embrace the fact that self-care isn't self-indulgence? This session will focus on giving yourself permission to set boundaries and find self-compassion.

Register for Writing for Wellness through Toronto Metropolitan University Human Resources, Workshops for Employees

Writing for Wellness is a series of four sessions that invites participants to discover their capacity for reflection and insight.  All sessions are open; attendance at prior sessions is not required. Each session integrates positive psychology, writing, mindfulness, self-compassion, optimism, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and holistic development to demonstrate specific ways to replace stress with resilience. Facilitated by Diana Brecher.

One of the best ways to reduce the stress associated with schoolwork, exams, deadlines and demands on your creativity is to get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. Our brains are actually active while we sleep. Learn more about tapping into this often-neglected pathway to academic success and personal well-being.

Contact Dr. Diana Brecher for more information about how to arrange for her to design a lecture for your class. Stand-alone workshops specifically for staff are also available.

Indigenous Graduate Education

Refer a Student

Thriving in Action is a semester-long, non-credit program for students in their second undergraduate year through graduate pursuits who self-identify as ‘not doing very well.’ Our unique program blends Positive Psychology essentials like grit, gratitude, and mindfulness, along with progressive learning strategies to hone time management, note-taking, studying, and essay-writing skills. If you’d like to refer a student to the program, contact

Thriving in Action Online: Student Guide

Visit the  (PDF file) Student Guide (opens in new window) !

No matter where you are in your post-secondary journey or how you found the Thriving in Action Online resource, the blend of Positive Psychology interventions and progressive learning strategies can help you with the following: 

  • Harness your willpower and restore motivation
  • Mindfully manage your time
  • Study efficiently
  • Bounce forward after setbacks 
  • Learn with confidence and uncover your strengths 
  • Transform your relationship to school
  • Experience sustainable success (however you define it) 
  • And so much more! 


Faculty and Staff Guide

 (PDF file) Faculty and Staff Guide (opens in new window) 

Wondering how to reach languishing students? Curious to learn innovative, skill-focused, research-based interventions to support students who identify as marginalized, First Gen, mature, living with disabilities, seeking counselling services and/or on academic probation? 

Thriving in Action (TiA) offers an equity-guided, scalable, flexible, recreatable, and group-based model to reach struggling students, prevent distress, bolster self-efficacy, and support persistence. The TiA curriculum blends thriving and learning skills, including mindfulness and time management, gratitude and group work, self-compassion, and studying. TiA aims to deepen belongingness, empower agency, restore focus, and foster confidence. TiA students are taught tools to flourish academically and personally.