Resilience: secret weapon for managing your mental health

Healthy Living

Resilience: secret weapon for managing your mental health

No matter how hard we try, bad things happen: heartbreak, financial loss and illness to name just a few.

But even when the bad-luck truck arrives, we can overcome. Resilience is the inner mental strength that responds and overcomes.

What is resilience?
Like the foundation of a home, each of us is equipped with a level of resilience. Depending on environmental and biological factors, foundations can vary in strength. Resilience works the same way.

If your resilience is low and stress is high, you might focus on problems, feel victimized or turn to unhealthy behaviors.

“Strengthen your resilience muscles with self-care, self-reflection, setting boundaries and seeking help when you need it,” said Laurie Mitchell, assistant vice president of global wellbeing and health at Unum. “Not only can this put you in a better frame of mind, it can also reduce cortisol, your body’s primary stress hormone that controls your mood and motivation.”

Whatever your resilience level or stressors may be, here are some steps you can take to have a better tomorrow.

Build healthy relationships — Be intentional with those who support your dreams and goals. Keep a calendar of friend and family activities to hold yourself accountable. It can be easy to close yourself off when times are hard. Spending time with others can often be the support we need to get through challenging times.
Keep a positive perspective — Be aware of your thoughts. Consider your problems and consistently strive to see situations in a positive light. The mental challenge is worth the outcome.
Take care of yourself — Review your daily routine and ask yourself if it includes activities and habits that allow you to enjoy life. Make sure you get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet and proper hydration and participate in hobbies you enjoy.
Know your resources — Many employers provide a variety of mental health resources through an employee assistance program. If needed, consider talking to a licensed mental health professional.

With a positive perspective, helpful resources and support from others, our resiliency can grow.

Resilience doesn’t mean your problems will disappear. But being equipped with the right knowledge, support and resources helps you find the right balance to lead a healthy and happy life.

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