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6 steps for fostering mental resilience

Practice active coping mechanisms to foster mental resilience

Find support

Seeking positive social support has been shown to improve resilience to stress and may even decrease genetic and environmental vulnerabilities. Avoid isolating yourself and instead share your thoughts and feelings with a trusted friend, family member, or peer. Furthermore, if you’re struggling to cope with challenging or stressful events in your life, speaking to a mental health professional can help.

Say positive affirmations

Positive affirmations can help you unlearn negative thought patterns and shift your perspective to a more positive outlook. Repeating self-affirmations, such as “I am confident and capable,” has been shown to decrease stress, enhance well-being, and reduce the effect of negative emotions.

Stay active

Research demonstrates that physical activity can be especially beneficial for individuals facing significant stressors. As a general recommendation, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical exercise per week.

Spend time in nature

The simple act of sitting on a park bench or taking a stroll outdoors can have profound effects on your mental well-being and resilience. Research demonstrates that visiting outdoor recreation sites can promote psychological and physical health.

Maintain a sense of humor

Laughter is a highly effective strategy for relieving stress. Research investigating the benefits of laughter in veterans, terminally ill individuals, and adolescents have shown laughter to be protective against stress. (19) Watch your favorite sitcom, visit a comedy show, or call a friend who makes you laugh.

Practice mindfulness and meditation

Practice mindfulness by enjoying a meal without distractions, taking a yoga class, or practicing deep breathing exercises. Reflecting in a journal is also an excellent strategy for practicing mindfulness. Try jotting down a few things for which you’re grateful or reflect on some of the positive aspects of your life. Furthermore, meditation may help improve resilience by bringing your mind to the present moment and calming racing thoughts.

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