Forget Happiness – Master Resilience

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Our 3rd installment of Sonya Summer Wellness tackles the issue of mental wellness. We are honored to have as our expert, Dr. Zelana Montminy author of 21 Days to Resilience (HarperElixir).

Dr. Z (as she’s known to many clients and fans), is an Internationally-acclaimed speaker, author, psychologist, and motivational speaker.

Mimi Dakar Berry recently caught up with Dr. Montminy to speak about finding happiness, relieving stress, the pursuit of finding “balance”.

Mimi Dakar and Dr.Zelana Montminy on Facebook Live
Posted by Sonya Dakar on Wednesday, June 21st, 2017



1. How did you get into psychology? What was your light bulb moment?
I was always really curious and interested in human behavior, why people behave the way they do, what affects our choices, and how I can help. I was quickly disenchanted with traditional psychology’s focus on pathology and wanted to delve more into how to encourage our strengths instead.

2. You recently wrote a book “21 Days to Resilience”, congratulations! Why is resilience so important?
Resilience is more important than any other skill. Our ability to not just weather the daily storms, but also use those storms and challenges to provide growth and strength is critical. It’s not something we’re born with or without – resilience is something we have to train ourselves to become.

3. What advice do you have for busy women juggling life, work, family etc.. who have a tough time finding balance?
Forget about “balance”. I think that’s too much pressure and we become obsessed with finding it. Instead of pressuring ourselves to always find balance, try integrating instead. Prioritize which elements of your life mean most, how much time you want/need to invest, and figure out a way to combine your roles so that it works effectively in your life and doesn’t drain you. Those elements are really different for each person, and may change week to week. Remain flexible!

4. As a working mother and business owner, what techniques do you use for quickly relieving stress?
It’s so important we take time outs – not just for our kids but for ourselves! Resilience is about how we recharge, not just about how we keep going. So don’t feel guilty about that; if you aren’t cared for and rebooting, you won’t be able to do anything else well in your life, including taking care of your family. I like to do a yoga class or a power walk to instantly boost mood, a facial and massage once in a while is much needed, as is a Epsom salt bath with essential oils!

5. What is your top tip you can share to help someone find happiness?
Forget about finding happiness – it makes us focus too much on our shortcomings, and then when we are actually happy, it floats by without us knowing. We’re stuck in the “wanting” to be happy so it prevents us from just “being” happy. Mindfulness helps so much with this, to start noticing your body and the moments that filter through our days. Playfulness helps too – reconnect with the child inside all of us!

6. What app can you not live without?
Google maps that tracks traffic!

7. List three items you always leave home with.
Wallet, keys, hand sanitizer.

8. What are your favorite healthy snacks for when you’re on-the-go?
Nuts/seeds, fruit, homemade granola.

9. Are there any myths out there that you want to debunk?
Balance doesn’t really exist, happiness shouldn’t be your end goal (build resilience instead), you are stronger than you think…. What’s painful now will shape you the most!

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