Exercise Your Mind

Six Ways to Build Emotional Muscle

Want to be resilient? Just as you exercise for physical health, you can strengthen your emotional well-being with practice. Here’s how to get started.

1 Be Social. The pandemic’s social distancing has isolated many of us, but humans need interaction to thrive. Make a practice to connect with family and friends often – as best you can. Not only will it boost your emotional well-being, but it will also boost theirs.

2 Get Active. Exercise releases endorphins, which lift mood, increase energy, relieve stress, improve memory, and help you to sleep better. Make it fun: dance to your favorite music, throw a Frisbee for your dog, or play activity-based video games with your kids.

3 Manage Stress. It’s in your power to control stress with simple techniques. Talk out frustrations with a friend or counselor. Soothe your senses with music or aromatherapy. Practice relaxation techniques like yoga, deep breathing, and prayer.

4 Eat Healthy. A low-sugar, high fiber diet can increase energy, improve sleep, and boost mood. On the other hand, a diet of sugary snacks, refined carbohydrates (like white flour and white rice), fried foods, caffeine and alcohol has the opposite effect.

5 Sleep Well. Turn off screens (TV, phone, tablet, computer) two hours before bedtime, then wind down by reading or listening to soothing music. Good quality sleep improves mood, elevates energy, boosts mental sharpness, and helps you handle stress.

6 Find Meaning. Having purpose in life is energizing. It can also strengthen your immune system, alleviate pain, and relieve stress. One of the most rewarding ways to enrich and expand your life is to help others. Volunteer with a school, church, or charitable organization.


A few sessions with a counselor can help you set meaningful goals and plan strategies to reach them.

  • MDLIVE: Talk to a therapist from the privacy of your own home. Get started at MDLIVE.com/regence-or, download the app on your smartphone, or call (888) 725-3097.
  • An in-network provider: Meet in person, by phone or online (if offered by the provider). Search regence.com for an in-network counselor.
  • Regence.com: Get self-care tips from mental health experts, benefit information and other resources at regence.com/member/healthlifestyle/self-care.
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