We have all heard of the importance of resiliency, the ability to “bounce back” from a crisis or stressful situation.  Here are some reminders of key elements in developing resiliency….


We can already see school supplies and uniforms in the stores preparing for the new school year.  Resiliency tips are useful for children and adults alike.  With children returning to school soon maybe these ideas will be helpful.
Some people are naturally born with a temperament that adapts well to facing stress, but the good news is that we can learn and practice skills to develop resiliency.  Similar to training our body to perform in a high demand sport or physical challenge, we can train our brain!

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3 Key Elements To Develop Resiliency


Respond vs. React:  The brain works to protect us in a moment of crisis, or acute stress, by signaling the body to go into a “fight-flight-freeze” mode.  We all understand the basics of how this works. The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal system works to send signals throughout the body to handle the perceived threat.

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However, if we practice mindfulness, even in the face of a threatening situation, we can “pause” and not automatically react.  With practice, we can pause long enough to interrupt the chemical signals that normally run their course through our body, which can be potentially damaging if the situation is chronic. 
Following a brief pause, we are better able to access our more rational part of the brain that can problem solve and choose a response to the situation instead of just an automatic reaction.

Although we all can agree that “feeling stressed” is not desirable, we have a human tendency to “hold on” to old patterns of behavior.  Therefore, just reading about suggestions to change our behavior is not sufficient to create change.  We must engage in a practice of “letting go” of the old response patterns.  Old patterns can leave us feeling anxious and depressed. 
So why hold on?  The fear of the unknown is often the reason for behaving in familiar ways. Being mindful and aware of this tendency can give you a permission to allow the internal release.  Grieve anything that prevents you from letting go of old patterns.  Many patterns of perceived control or protective mechanisms no longer serve you.  Allow yourself the freedom of release to be more resilient in moments of crisis and stress.  Yoga philosophy encourages a “non-attachment” to relieve suffering. 

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Self soothing and self care activities are important steps to refresh the brain and build resiliency after facing stress.  The prior steps mentioned (pausing the stress mechanism, processing the problem that needs to be solved, letting go of old behaviors and emotions) all require some effort.  It is essential to provide for rest for a good recovery, very similar to how an athlete plans days of a light work out and breaks in between hard training. 
Find activities that bring you joy and satisfaction: 
  • Resist returning to “work on your problem”, so that you can rest and recover. 
  • Surround yourself with people that provide support and help you to laugh and smile. 
  • Spend time outdoors enjoying nature.
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Therapy provides an opportunity to reflect on relationship patterns, gain insight, and learn new tools to build maintain resiliency.

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At Wellness Counseling Services we offer individual psychotherapy, personal coaching, couples counseling and family therapy.  We use an integrative approach, offering training in Mindfulness meditation for stress management. We provide Neurofeedback, a non-invasive and innovative brain training program used to remedy symptoms and enhance mental performance.   Contact us for more details. 
Wellness Counseling Services
905 Brickell Bay Drive Suite 228
The Four Ambassadors, Tower 2
Mezzanine Level
Miami, FL 33131-2923


Marianne Cortes, LMHC
Lydia C. Cerpa, LCSW
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The Four Ambassadors Tower 2 Mezzanine Level
Miami, Fl 33131

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