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“It [isn’t] about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” — Rocky

Life is full of ups and downs. When bad things happen, we often doubt we have what it takes to get through them.

As the character Rocky explains to his son in the film Rocky Balboa, your resilience gets you through those tough times. And has the potential to make you stronger.

Research also shows a link between a strong inner resolve and improved health.

What is resilience?

Resilience is your ability to bounce back from setbacks … not let them overwhelm or immobilize you.

It’s a sense of perspective and positive sense of self that grows over time, as you encounter difficulties, struggle with them, persevere and find ways to work through them.

Where does it come from?

Building this emotional fortitude starts early. Think about learning to walk, learning to ride a bike … your first heartbreak.

What kept you going then? Your family and friends were there for you, giving advice, cheering you on. And each time you overcame an obstacle, you developed problem-solving skills and a good feeling about yourself.

Tips to help you keep bouncing back

Positive emotions fuel resilience. To bounce back, you need to create openings for these emotions to develop and fill you up.

  • TAKE CARE OF YOU. Eat healthy, be active, get enough sleep.
  • BE PRESENT IN THE MOMENT. Try mindfulness meditation or deep-breathing
  • exercises. They can help center your thoughts and create new perspectives.
  • possibilities exist in this moment.
  • OPEN UP. Talk to family and friends.

And remember to reach out for extra help. Talk to a professional counselor or seek out support groups.

Sources: National Institutes of Health (NIH). Positive emotions and your health: Developing a brighter outlook. NIH News in Health. August 2015. Available at: Accessed September 15, 2016. Healthwise, Incorporated. Building resilience. Healthwise® Knowledge base. November 20,2015. Available at: Accessed September 15, 2016.

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This message is for informational purposes only, is not medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Information is believed to be accurate as of the production date; however,it is subject to change. For more information about Aetna plans, refer to