Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being
Video Interview with Linda Graham, MFT New World Library
Available now in bookstores and can be ordered online from
Resilience is our innate capacity to face and handle life's challenges, whether everyday disappointments or extraordinary disasters. Bouncing Back integrates brain science, relational psychology and mindfulness practices to help you change for the better old patterns of coping encoded in your neural circuity and to develop new ways to respond to pressures and tragedies quickly, adaptively, and effectively.
Winner of the 2013 Books for a Better Life Award
Winner of the 2014 Better Books for a Better World Award
Favorite Books of 2013 Greater Good Science Center Honorable Mention
Creative in its groundbreaking integration of ancient contemplative wisdom, relational psychology, and modern neuroscience - and supremely useful in its compassionate focus on what will help you here and now.
- Rick Hanson, author of Buddha's Brain and Hardwiring Happiness, from the foreword to Bouncing Back
In Bouncing Back, Linda Graham offers a beautiful and wise understanding of neuroscience combined with immensely practical tools for healthy living and genuine well-being.
- Jack Kornfield, PhD, author of the Wise Heart
We all know what it's like to feel stuck. Grounded in solid neuroscience and relational psychology, bouncing Back is the perfect guidebook to help us not only get through hard times but develop the capacity for thriving in their midst. With extraordinary clarity, empathy, and depth, Linda Graham shows us how to navigate through life's challenges with confidence, trust, and the feeling of the wind in our sails.
- James Baraz, coauthor of Awakening Joy
Read excerpts from Rick Hanson's forward to Bouncing Back
From the foreword by Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom and Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence:
Life has many enjoyable, even wonderful moments. Of course, as we all know, it contains other kinds of moments as well: times that are stressful, upsetting, depleting, tiring, even devastating and traumatic – or simply dull and dreary. These sometimes come with great intensity, but mainly they’re woven into the fabric of everyday life: the frustrations of a long commute, a squabble with a roommate, trying to settle a squirming toddler into a car seat, an unexpected bill, a big push at work, a nagging illness, criticism from a boss, a painful breakup with a partner, sullen silence from a teenager…real life.
Faced with great challenges or a long accumulation of small ones, you may wonder: How hard will this hit me? How soon will I recover? And most important, how can I help myself? Drawing on her many years of experiences as a psychotherapist, meditation teacher, workshops leader, and write, Linda Graham provides many excellent, even life-changing answers to these questions. She explores the intersection of brain science, relational psychology, and mindfulness practices to show us how to recover and develop our natural resilience….
Further, in a rich vein of gold running throughout this book, Linda offers down-to-earth perspectives and dozens of powerful, experiential practices for building up our inner resources. She knows these practices from the inside out, and she offers enthusiastic and creative ways to use them to help us develop new insights, inspirations, and capabilities. These resources – a kind of inner treasure – include greater mindfulness, empathy, self-understanding, self-compassion, security, confidence, interpersonal skills, comfort with the body, reservoirs of positive emotions, calm, courage, and flexibility. These help a person deal with life adaptively – to bend but not break, and then, as Linda puts it, to bounce back. In a word, they help a person become more resilient….
Linda Graham has seen up close what builds resilience and what tears it down. In language that is heartfelt, often lyrical, and always practical, and with a comprehensive approach to mind, body, heart, and spirit, she has distilled a lifetime of clinical practice and deep reflection into an eminently useful guide. Her work is creative in its groundbreaking integration of ancient contemplative wisdom, relational psychology, and modern neuroscience, and it is eminently useful in its compassionate focus on what will help you here and now.
Resilience is like the keel of a sailboat. As the winds of life blow, resilience keeps you balanced and moving forward. And when the really big squalls come – no life is without them – resilience lets you right your boat as soon as possible. Using the knowledge you gain from this book, you’ll be able to chart your course with confidence across the great seas of this precious life.
- Rick Hanson, PhD
Additional endorsements from...
Additional endorsements for Bouncing Back
"We all know what it’s like to feel stuck. Grounded in solid neuroscience and relational psychology, Bouncing Back is the perfect guidebook to help us not only get through hard times but develop the capacity for thriving in their midst. With extraordinary clarity, empathy, and depth, Linda Graham shows us how to navigate through life’s challenges with confidence, trust, and the feeling of the wind in our sails. Highly recommended." — James Baraz, coauthor of Awakening Joy
"Bouncing Back reaches for and delivers more than a strategy for dealing with hard times. Its many practices are sure to be beneficial on a daily basis and can expand anyone’s capacity to navigate the twists and turns that life inevitably presents us with. Linda Graham has written a very positive book that supports and encourages everyone to engage in life consciously, with an open heart and an open mind. I highly recommend Bouncing Back." — Peter Baumann, author of Ego and founder of the Baumann Foundation
"Astoundingly brilliant! I’ve never read a book so packed with information and wisdom and so engagingly, imaginatively, and charmingly written. Every page is a pleasure and a delight to read. This is a must-read book for therapists, teachers, and everyone else (which means all of us) who are interested in how we bounce back amid life’s many challenges." — Sylvia Boorstein, PhD, author of It’s Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness
"We each have the capacity to meet the most challenging life circumstances with deep intelligence and a courageous, open heart. Yet when our resilience is diminished, we suffer. In her pioneering new book, Linda Graham explores the psychological, relational, and neurological dynamics of resilience and offers a rich array of meditations and attentional practices that can help us navigate everything from daily stressors to deep trauma. Written with great lucidity and compassion, this book helps us cultivate a heart that is ready for anything." — Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge
"Linda Graham has written the ultimate handbook for dealing with life’s inevitable bumps, challenges, and, yes, even traumas. It is both practical and inspiring: Graham draws equally on modern science — neuroscience, psychology, and sociology — and contemplative philosophy to create a must-have resource for all those looking to make a full comeback." — Christine Carter, PhD, author of Raising Happiness and The Sweet Spot
"I highly recommend this intelligent and very readable book by Linda Graham. More than informative, it is a heartfelt conversation with a wise and compassionate friend — and we can all use more of those." — Louis Cozolino, PhD, professor of psychology at Pepperdine University and author of The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy
"Having researched and cocreated a resilience training program for NASA, I can validate the breadth and power of Bouncing Back. Linda Graham has integrated the latest findings in neuroscience and emotionally focused therapies, along with perennial mindfulness practices, to provide us with a first-rate book on becoming more resilient. It may be premature to call a book a classic before it has hit the stands, but Bouncing Back has everything it takes: it is wise, helpful, compassionate, practical, and well researched. — Daniel Ellenberg, PhD, leadership coach, psychotherapist, and seminar leader
"A wealth of neuroscience research over the past ten years has told us much about how the brain works and what change really means. Linda Graham’s Bouncing Back is the book we’ve all been waiting for that translates that knowledge into compassionate, down-to-earth language that inspires confidence and hope. Rather than rote skills for coping, she provides a brain-based understanding of how we became who we are and how we can use our brains to become who we want to be. With humor, warmth, and wisdom, she conveys how to use mindfulness practices to increase our tolerance for the ups and downs of human life." — Janina Fisher, PhD, author of Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors
"Linda Graham’s Bouncing Back gives us what we most need to navigate through our rich, complex, and often challenging world: a fundamental understanding of how our brains work, a deep dive into the flexibility and changeability of the brain, and practical tools for meeting life’s most difficult challenges. Whether you’re currently dealing with trauma or in a joyful and unencumbered period of your life, this book will deepen your self-understanding as it moves your heart." — Rick Foster, coauthor of How We Choose to Be Happy and Happiness and Health
"Filled with practical and powerful exercises that not only will deepen your capacity to deal with life’s challenges but will lead to lasting change, Bouncing Back is a comprehensive and caring road map to a life of flourishing." — Ron Frederick, PhD, author of Living Like You Mean It
"Useful in a wide variety of contexts, Bouncing Back brings much-needed science to the subject of resilience via a wisdom-packed offering of simple yet effective insights and practices for growing through life’s inevitable challenges." — Elisha Goldstein, PhD, author of The Now Effect and Uncovering Happiness
"In Bouncing Back, Linda Graham offers a beautiful and wise understanding of neuroscience combined with immensely practical tools for healthy living and genuine well-being." — Jack Kornfield, PhD, author of A Path with Heart and Wise Heart
"Linda Graham shines clear light on one of the most vital skills we can develop — resilience — and takes the mystery out of how to get there. She offers beautiful, practical guidance on the underpinnings of ‘bouncing back’ and on how to rewire your brain’s circuitry to increase your resilience. She includes real-life, relatable examples from her experience as a first-class psychotherapist and veteran mindfulness practitioner, as well as insights and road-tested practices you’ll want to return to again and again." — Marsha Lucas, PhD, author of Rewire Your Brain for Love: Creating Vibrant Relationships Using the Science of Mindfulness
"Wherever I go, and with all the populations I serve, I’ve discovered that nourishing resilience to counteract the stresses and strains of daily life is our number one priority. I’m therefore grateful to Linda Graham for weaving together this incredible tapestry of time-tested insights and exercises, which are vitally important for us to assimilate into our daily lives. Bouncing Back is a resource guide I will cherish and look forward to passing on to all my students, clients, and teachers-in-training." — Richard Miller, PhD, clinical psychologist and president of the Integrative Restoration Institute
"Linda Graham provides a masterful integration of novel research findings in neuroscience and psychology with deep clinical insight into optimal human functioning. A joy to read and full of easy-to-follow exercises, this book offers a deceptively simple yet rich and complex road map for building and maintaining emotional resilience." — Kristin Neff, PhD, associate professor of human development and culture at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Self-Compassion
"This book presents the neuroscience of self-healing in ways that make it totally accessible and applicable to our daily life concerns. Linda Graham shows us how to upgrade our old wiring to fit the new code of mental and spiritual health. I was personally touched by how encouraging her works and practices are." — David Richo, PhD, author of How to Be an Adult in Love
"Bouncing Back offers the rigor of science, the beauty of art, and the wisdom of deep reflection and contemplation. In this illuminating work, Linda Graham has given us a treasure that has the potential to transform our individual and collective lives." — Shauna L. Shapiro, PhD, assistant professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University and coauthor of The Art and Science of Mindfulness
"A Japanese proverb tells us that ‘the bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists,’ for when the monsoon strikes the oak breaks, while the bamboo bends but quickly recovers. In clear, accessible language, Linda Graham integrates insights from modern scientific psychology, ancient wisdom traditions, and neurobiology to show readers how to become more like bamboo. Filled with inspirational quotes, step-by-step exercises, and wisdom drawn from years of psychotherapeutic practice, this book can help anyone recover from sorrow and disappointment to live a richer, happier, more fulfilling life." — Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD, assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and author of The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems
"One of the most exciting discoveries of the age we are living in is the growing understanding that we can each consciously engage in practices, sometimes involving only shifts in our attention and intention, that directly influence the function and structure of our brains and bodies. Even better, we not only can do this for ourselves but can connect with others in ways that support resilience in our families, communities, and society. Bouncing Back is a heartfelt and comprehensive guide for how to use your mind to change your brain and, in the process, experience an amazing upward spiral of deep well-being." — Cassandra Vieten, PhD, executive director of research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, and coauthor of Living Deeply and author of Mindful Motherhood
"Linda Graham has written a remarkably clear, extraordinarily useful, and, yes, inspiring book. She brilliantly integrates cutting-edge neuroscience and the best of contemporary psychotherapy with the wisdom and practices of Buddhism. The result is both a sophisticated perspective on development and change and a practical program for healing and strengthening the psyche through exercises imaginatively designed to rewire the brain." — David Wallin, PhD, author of Attachment in Psychotherapy