How often have you heard that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?

This ability to bounce back sturdier than before is called resilience. The better we develop and use it, mental health experts say, the better equipped we are to rebound from most any difficulty.

“Resilience contributes to good mental health in many ways,” says Janet Taylor, MD, MPH, an adult outpatient psychiatrist in New York City. “Stressful events are an inevitable part of life. How individuals respond to them depends on their ability to successfully handle a challenge, summon optimism and come up with a plan.”

What if you aren’t naturally resilient? Don’t fret. You can work to cultivate this beneficial trait. Taylor offers simple steps to get started.

“First, strive to be more resilient by learning 
from both negative and positive experiences,” she suggests. “In addition, recognize your sources of support, maintain perspective, reframe situations, analyze and understand your circumstances and always give life your best effort.”