Written by Doctor G

Resilience grows in the resting

Hi! resting

Have you ever tried to build muscle through exercise? You lift whatever weight you can until it’s hard and then you stop. And while you’re lifting, you’re not actually building muscle – as a matter of fact you’re breaking muscle fibers. You’re tearing small parts of the muscle. You don’t get stronger during the workout, so you can only lift however much you could lift at the beginning, and you get a little weaker over the set (repetitions of the same exercise) and over the entire workout. 

Your body repairs those muscle fibers by fusing and healing them, increasing your mass in that muscle and therefore the work it can do for you. You get stronger from the rest and repair, not from the exercise itself. And yet the exercise is necessary to initiate the healing and growth.

I bet you’ve guessed where I’m going with this.

When you face a change you only have the resilience you’ve brought to that moment. And you get a little weaker and less resilient as you navigate that stress. When you rest – sleep, distract yourself, decompress, celebrate, run around, create art, recover, process, chill – that’s when you grow your resilience.

You require rest – whatever that means to your brain – in order to actually get mentally stronger from a challenge.

There is a common saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” If you’ve ever learned with me in person you’ve heard me say that this is nearly complete shenanigans. It’s not the thing you go through that makes you stronger, it’s the recovery period and the intentionality you bring to your own mental health that makes you stronger.

And you wouldn’t grow your resilience without facing challenge in the first place.

What do you do to give yourself a chance to recover between challenges? Comment and let me know, please.

All my best,

Dr. G resting

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A widely recognized media personality, Dr. G is your go-to expert on resilience. Countless broadcast outlets rely on her contagious humor and illuminating stories to tackle tough topics. She is regularly seen on TV, as well as interviewed for print and digital outlets. Here, she’s answering your questions. Search for the answers you need, or ask her your question now!
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