By Maryann Potter, MS, LAC

I have been reflecting lately on things that we can do to become stronger. I looked up the definition of strong and it states, “to be able to withstand great force or pressure” (Merriam-Webster, 2022). What exactly do we need to do in order to adopt this definition? We can strengthen our bodies by building our muscles. Building our muscles can happen by lifting weights, doing a self-defense class or kickboxing. How many times are we concerned with all the things that we need to do to strengthen our bodies such as going to the gym, eating right, and getting enough sleep, but neglect what we need to do to strengthen the emotional part, or the inside of our bodies? In order to feel strong, it is important that we focus on the physical and emotional parts of our body, so we truly feel strengthened.

Here are some ways we can strengthen the emotional parts of our body:

  • Resting our minds by meditation can be highly effective and gives us a time out from the stress of the world. There are many meditation apps – experiment and see which one you feel the most comfortable with. Meditating for a least 10 minutes a day on a regular basis can train your mind to calm down.
  • Learning to communicate in an assertive way can help us feel empowered and strengthened. Using assertive communication means using “I” statements. For example, “I feel (emotion)”, and then explain the reason for feeling that way. Being able to use “I” statements in our conversations helps us to express how we feel without attacking the other person.
  • Stopping the negative thought process can be very empowering. Learning to say the word “STOP” and then distracting yourself from those negative thoughts can be powerful. Remember to ask yourself if there is reliable evidence for that negative thought and will that thought matter in six months and even in a year.
  • Stop saying sorry so much. Pay attention to how many times you say, I’m sorry” in a day. Do they all have meaning, or does it just make you look weak? Only say you are sorry if you have done something wrong. It is important and empowering to learn to not say sorry so much.

Using the tools described above can help us mentally be able to withstand the great force and pressure that we may feel at times. Combining the physical along with the mental aspects can empower us and strengthen us. Feeling strong as a whole person can help us feel strengthened and give us the confidence.  This can help when we are facing the many uncertainties in the world. Knowing that we are strong individuals can help us to stand on our own and feel empowered.


Maryann Potter is passionate about strengthening children (ages 10+), adolescents, and adults by using techniques such as DBT and EMDR to help in their journey of recovery.  She believes in using a nonjudgmental and empowering approach to help improve mental and emotional well-being.