My friend and colleague, JJ Virgin is a celebrity nutrition and fitness expert, as well as a New York Times bestselling author. She joined me for a Relentless Courage interview to talk about her most recent book, Warrior Mom: 7 Secrets to Bold, Brave Resilience.
First, you should know what inspired her to write it.
JJ’s son, Grant, had struggled with behavior problems from a young age. In fact, by the time he was 6 years old, he had already been diagnosed with ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder by various psychiatrists. JJ eventually brought Grant in for a psychiatric evaluation with my husband, Dr. Daniel Amen, who was able to help him.
Fast Forward 10 Years
While crossing the street, Grant was struck by a hit-and-run driver and basically left for dead. His near fatal injuries included a torn aorta, a severe traumatic brain injury, and 13 bone fractures. The doctor in charge of Grant’s case told JJ and her husband that surgery for the torn aorta couldn’t be done there. Grant would have to be airlifted to another hospital—an event he’d not likely survive— and if he did, his brain was so damaged, it wouldn’t be worth it.
I cannot imagine the horror of hearing those words.
What’s a Mother to Do?
Well, if you’re a warrior mom like JJ, you take control of your mindset, and in this case, hers became one of hope—the hope that Grant would and could survive—and a conviction he would heal and get back to a normal life again. Long story short, they had him airlifted and he underwent a lifesaving surgery to repair his aorta and then endured months of other surgeries and rehabilitation until he was able to go home.
My husband and I visited JJ and Grant in the hospital. To see such an athletic and strong boy so imperiled by his massive injuries was almost too hard to take in. But JJ persevered despite the obstacles ahead for her son and herself. Getting Grant back to “better than before” became her mission. Even though the journey was long and arduous, she never gave up.
5 Ways to be Strong in the Face of Adversity
While JJ’s story of resilience and perseverance in getting her son’s health restored is a very compelling one, millions of people face their own challenges every day too. There are many times when the road ahead can seem overwhelming, but when you dig deep, chances are you can find the inner strength to do what needs to be done.
Here are 5 ways to help you get through your own battles successfully:
- Embrace Support: Having a circle of friends and connections with people who can hold your same vision—and not think small—can help to bolster the confidence you need to lean into the challenges you face.
- Manage Your Mindset: We get what we expect, and our thoughts have a lot of power. Deciding you are going to be successful at something—whether it’s as a parent, in business, or reaching a personal goal—can become the beacon that helps you make the right decisions to persevere.
- Prioritize Self-Care: If you’re not feeling your best, it can be difficult to keep going or to help others, especially when times get tough. Make sure you do the right things to support your health, including:
- Eat a healthy diet that nourishes your brain and body.
- Make time for regular exercise.
- Manage your stress with meditation and prayer—and limit your exposure to negative people as well as the “doom and gloom” on the nightly news.
- Focus on What You Can Control: Rather than being drained by the stress of what you cannot control, work on the things you can—even if they might be small at times.
- Practice Gratitude: At the end of each day, reflect and identify at least 3 things for which you are grateful. The more goodness you see around you, the more empowered you will feel.
When you take personal responsibility to face the challenges in your life, you’ll discover that you are much stronger than you ever thought.
Check out more of my Relentless Courage interviews on my YouTube channel and order my new memoir, The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child: How Persistence, Grit, and Faith Created a Reluctant Healer.
If you or a loved one is facing mental health issues or life struggles that you can’t manage, Amen Clinics is here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 844-818-0616 or visit our contact page here.