Exercise Builds Mental Toughness & Resilience to Stress

Exercise Builds Mental Toughness & Resilience to Stress

Are you stressed?

Would you love to know how to lower your stress and be able to breeze through your life like one of those people who always seem to have enough time for everything?

Do regular exercise.

Aside from the obvious physical and physiological benefits of regular exercise; improved strength, stamina and aerobic fitness, regular exercise also creates some amazing and less tangible benefits; resilience, mental toughness and determination.

Resilience:  The ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune; buoyancy.

Toughness: Enduring strength and energy

Determination: Firmness of purpose.

If you are resilient, tough and determined, you are easily able to navigate life’s obstacles, stay firm to your goal and endure what needs to be endured to get to your goal.

How does exercise create this?

It has to do with your thinking when you are doing exercise. It has to do with breaking your perceived barriers  and doing more than you thought you could, regularly.

Each time you push out one more repetition, when your muscles are screaming; no more, you build toughness. Every time you decide to do 30 minutes on the treadmill, rower or bike and you do it, you build determination, every exercise session you do you build resilience, because your body gets acclimatized to being stretched and pushed and exceeding past limitations.


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I have developed some mantras and visualisations that help me to be tough in the gym so I can train my mind as well as my muscles, and get more from my workouts.

  • I visualize my ideal body in the reflection when I am running, as if each step is drawing me closer.
  • I say in my mind (in a B-grade movie russian accent) “I am strong like bull!”  when I need to push out a few more reps, and go past muscle failure.
  • I repeat continuously when I am feeling a bit low, tired or weak: “I can do it, just one more, keep going, I can do it.”

Exercise makes you feel empowered because you begin to feel at home in your body. You can lift your own boxes, suitcases and whatever else you need to. You can walk confidently with a tall, proud posture. You can wear your clothes well because your muscles are defined and lean. You have the fitness to run up the flight of stairs or chase after your kids in the park. You can trust your body to do what you ask it to.

When you can feel truly at home in your body, you are sexy and confident. That confidence comes from toughness, resilience and determination. It is confidence in yourself, in your ability to navigate through life, to weather the storms and stay true to your path.

When you have these things, stress is no longer a concern. You even begin to seek out new challenges, and look for positive stress so that you can perform and stretch yourself further.

Imagine how your life would improve if you were more resilient, tough and determined?

Take some time to develop your own mantras and visualisations that help you to feel more empowered, tough and strong in the gym, and then notice the positive effects in the rest of your life…


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