Happiness is not about wishful thinking, good luck, or avoiding negative thoughts. In fact, the only path to true happiness requires seeing challenges as opportunities and discovering emotional strength during times of struggle. In other words, it’s about resilience.
Resilience is a quality most of us want to possess. The big issue is that no one knows how to access it in their day-to-day life. We understand that it’s important, that it’s crucial even, but it seems like an ephemeral thing that you either have or you don’t. How we actually attain the skills to become resilient has been left out of the conversation. Until now.
In 21 Days to Resilience: How to Transcend the Daily Grind, Deal with the Tough Stuff, and Discover Your Strongest Self, Dr. Zelana Montminy, a leading expert in positive psychology, offers a practical, science-backed toolkit to develop your capacity to handle whatever life throws your way—and thrive. Each day of her powerful program, Dr. Montminy introduces a key trait necessary to improve resiliency and enhance wellbeing, such as gratitude, focus, playfulness, self-respect, and flexibility, then provides three simple tasks to accomplish that day—one in the morning, one during the day, and one in the evening. In addition, the book offers a “Take Stock” section that will help you gauge your current level of skill and each chapter ends with a “Lifelong” exercise that offers ways to build the skill as needed to keep your resiliency muscles strong.
Why 21 days? The time frame is based on a premise that it takes at least 21 days to begin the formation of a new habit. But it takes at the very least two months for a new behavior to become second nature. You have to do the work, and practice often, to really reap the beneﬁts, to make resilience a way of life. This book is the ﬁrst step to energizing you for lifelong change. Think of this as a three-week boot camp to hasten the resilience building process.
We do so much of what we think will make us blissful but so many of us are unhappier than ever before. The code to unlocking happiness and success isn’t the quest for it after all. Groundbreaking research shows that happiness is in fact much easier to attain if we stop focusing on it so much. Although this might sound counterintuitive, happiness shouldn’t be the end goal if you really want to be happy. Research has actually exposed several negative side effects of happiness, particularly that too much of the wrong type of happiness, experienced at an improper time, pursued in the wrong way, can be damaging. The antidote: undertake resilience instead.
There are many books out there explaining why resilience is important. This book is about how to build it. It is broken down into three main weeks with daily exercises for each week.
- Week 1- Self. This ranges from Hope and Health to Self-Respect and Playfulness.
- Week 2- Spirit. Mindfulness and Spirituality to Perseverance and Acceptance.
- Week 3- Social. Emotional Intelligence and Purpose to Problem Solving and Gratitude
When it comes to gratitude, here are her tips on how to make a positive change in your life by becoming more grateful:
- In the morning: stop complaining. Choose one hour in your day in which you are not going to complain about anything. Increase that one hour a day over time.
- During the day: Act on your gratitude by showing it to others.
- At night: Do a gratitude pause before going to sleep. Lie still and breathe normally. Be grateful for your mind and well-being, for your health, family and friends. You can also use this moment to look at the challenges before you and focus on what you can learn.
- Lifelong: Keep a gratitude journal. Over time, approaching life from a thankful place will strengthen your ability to live with resilience.
Below is a clip of Dr. Montiminy discussing her wonderful book:
Reduce inflammatory process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.
Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.
Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.
Improves mood, memory, and focus.
Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.