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Building Resilience: How to Flex Your Mental Muscle

We’re all familiar with what it takes to build muscle on our bodies: a dedicated practice of exercise over time, coupled with time, diet and patience. But without regular effort, muscles will weaken.

The same concept of practice and training applies to our mental strength. Building a strong sense of mental toughness allows us to overcome problems and issues that occur in everyday life. It’s called resiliency.

“I think that we see life present different life challenges. Some may be short-lived and some might stay with us a little bit longer, but the way that I define resilience is being able to recover from adversity or difficulties, a sort of toughness that people can build through healthy habits and putting into place some best practices to growing and developing this resiliency that we’re speaking of today,” said Alejandra Juarez, sales executive at New Directions Behavioral Health.

On the latest episode of A Healthier Michigan Podcast, hosted by Chuck Gaidica, he and Juarez discuss resilience and how to strengthen it.

Listen to the podcast here: 

Individuals with a strong sense of resilience are in tune with their emotions and can detect the cause of their problems so they can address them and move forward. Resilient individuals can also stay calm in stressful situations and can be realistic about the challenges that are in their path.

“What I’ve learned in my experiences [is] that life throws a lot of curve balls at us and sometimes those are going to be small daily stressors, or they may be more intense life challenges that can leave profound effects on our lives,” Juarez said. “All of those requiring us to be resilient and stretch us to different degrees.”

Building resilience takes practice and work. Living a daily habit of positivity and gratitude, focusing on the positive in everyday life and finding humor in certain situations helps turn what could be otherwise seen as a failure into a positive lesson; all strategies to help build our mental strength. That’s not to say that challenges won’t arise – they just may seem more manageable with the tools that you’ve gathered.

“I think that when someone is presented with the life challenge, if they are able to trust themselves as they navigate that challenge and see the positive in what they are confronting and know, they’ll make it out the other end, that is a good sign that you are building on your resilience,” Juarez said. “To trust themselves, to give themselves the empathy that is needed to navigate through those challenges is of great importance and be able to motivate themselves.”

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Photo credit: Halfpoint

 

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