Dr. Jenn on Mental Toughness

Last Updated: November 17, 2023By Tags: , ,

The Clip Out podcast recently interviewed Dr. Jenn Mann, a licensed marriage, family, and child therapist, as well as sports psychology consultant. Dr. Mann is best known for her work on VH1’s Couples Therapy With Dr. Jenn and VH1’s Family Therapy With Dr. Jenn, as well as her radio show, the Dr. Jenn Show. She has also written four bestselling books, and in this interview, she discussed the topic of mental toughness. (Hear the interview here!)

What is Mental Toughness?

Dr. Jenn defines mental toughness as the ability to bounce back from difficult situations, accurately assess one’s strengths and weaknesses, and grow from adversity. She emphasized that mental toughness is not about having no weaknesses or never experiencing trauma but rather about being able to bounce back after those experiences.

Contributing Factors

According to Dr. Jenn, there are several factors that can contribute to mental toughness, including:

  • Overcoming trauma: While many people believe that experiencing trauma makes a person less mentally tough, Dr. Jenn has found the opposite to be true. Overcoming trauma can actually make a person more resilient and mentally tough because it teaches them that they have the strength to overcome difficult situations.
  • Practicing resilience daily: Dr. Mann suggests that practicing resilience on a daily basis can help to develop mental toughness. This means showing up even when we don’t feel resilient and using positive self-talk to reinforce our mental toughness.
  • Recognizing and building on strengths: Dr. Jenn believes that recognizing our strengths and weaknesses and building on them is crucial for mental toughness. By focusing on our strengths, we can develop a sense of confidence and resilience that helps us to overcome challenges.

Do We Need Trauma?

While trauma can certainly contribute to mental toughness, Dr. Jenn emphasizes that it’s not necessary to have experienced trauma to develop mental toughness. All people can develop resilience by recognizing their strengths and weaknesses and working to improve in areas where they feel they are lacking.

Dr. Jenn notes that sometimes people don’t recognize trauma when it occurs. Trauma can take many forms, from physical abuse to emotional neglect. Even something like divorce can be traumatic for children because it upsets the family dynamic. It’s important for individuals to be aware of traumatic experiences that may be impacting their mental toughness.

Overcoming the Negative

One of the most significant challenges to developing mental toughness is negative self-talk. Dr. Jenn notes that many people engage in negative self-talk, which can make them feel less resilient. By changing self-talk to be more positive and affirming, individuals can build mental toughness and feel more confident in their ability to overcome challenges.

For those struggling with mental toughness, Dr. Jenn suggests seeking therapy. Therapy can provide a safe space to explore the roots of negative self-talk, overcome trauma, and work on building mental toughness. With the support of a therapist, individuals can develop the skills and strategies needed to become more resilient and mentally tough.

Final Thoughts

Developing mental toughness is an ongoing process, one that requires a dedication to recognizing strengths and weaknesses, practicing resilience, and overcoming negative self-talk. By building mental toughness, individuals can learn to bounce back from difficult situations, accurately assess their strengths and weaknesses, and grow from adversity. With the help of therapy and a commitment to personal growth, anyone can become more mentally tough.

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