Emotional resilience is the ability to cope mentally or emotionally with a crisis, or to return to pre-crisis status quickly. Lack of emotional resilience can be problematic, causing you to dwell on problems, feel victimised, become easily overwhelmed, or turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse. If you find some thoughts or feelings too difficult to cope with, or feel like you’re under too much stress, building your emotional resilience can really help – and luckily it is a trait you can develop!
Here’s 10 keys steps to help you build emotional strength –
Act as your higher self
There won’t be many blog posts of mine that this line doesn’t feature in!
Who are you when you are at your best? Are you positive, patient and calm? Or are you anxious, stressed and agitated? Living in alignment with your highest self means showing up as the best version of you. It involves making decisions that you are proud of, so that you can come away from a situation knowing you acted to the best of your ability. This is my personal golden rule in life that I always try to live by, and whatever the situation, it never fails.
Throw yourself out of your comfort zone
One sure fire way to build resilience is by proving to yourself that you are capable, and that you can do the things that make you uncomfortable. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you’ve pushed past your fears or limiting beliefs, and done something you are proud of yourself for. Do this once or twice a week and your resilience will be sky high in no time!
Take cold showers
Simple but effective, conquering the uncomfortable really shows you what you are made of! Building resilience is all about providing the evidence to yourself that you CAN. Plus, cold water therapy is generally great for stress and anxiety as it stimulates the vagus nerve, which relaxes your nervous system. Start with 30 seconds and work your way up to anywhere between 3-8 minutes.
Sit with your feelings/acknowledge your emotions
If you lack emotional resilience, chances are you probably distract yourself when feeling certain feelings. Don’t! Practice not fearing how you feel. Accept, and allow. All feelings are a natural part of the human experience, make them welcome. Journaling and meditation are helpful tools for this.
Connect with yourself
Learning to be in your own company and building a solid connection with yourself is a key aspect of self-development. Teaching ourselves that we can rely on ourselves, and that we don’t always necessarily need the input of others is very empowering. You are much more capable than you think you are! Take yourself out for some lunch, or spend an afternoon at home doing something you enjoy. Next time you go to ask someones else’s opinion on something, practice coming to a decision on your own.
Sometimes lack of emotional resilience can equate to you sweeping things under the carpet, not confronting issues, or going along with the preferences of others. It’s important you build up a level of trust with yourself to help create security within, and implementing boundaries is a really good way of doing this. Setting a boundary is about politely communicating what you need and expect. If this is a new concept to you, start small and voice your preferences to the people you are most comfortable with.
Allow yourself to be imperfect
You can’t always be carefree and happy, and you’re not meant to be! You are going to make mistakes, and won’t always act to the best of your abilities. Emotional resilience isn’t about being perfect, its about accepting yourself, loving yourself, owning where you are at, learning, and moving forward in the most efficient direction. If you feel like you are spinning too many plates, sometimes you just have to stop, and put them down!
Self-awareness is the art of getting to know yourself on a deeper level, learning how you behave and why, and what triggers you, etc.
If you have a good understanding of self you will be able to trace why you feel the way you feel. For example, if your partner has done something that’s upset you, there is usually an underlying past experience or insecurity that will be contributing to the way you feel. Knowing this means you will be clearer about what this situation is bringing up for you, instead of just loosing your head or potentially speaking or acting irrationally.
Don’t judge yourself
As you develop you self-awareness and begin observing yourself, you may come across traits or behaviour patterns you wish were different, or don’t particularly like. We all have a ‘shadow’ self, or a side to ourselves that is generally made up of the parts of ourselves we deem unacceptable. Be kind to yourself, and show yourself compassion and understanding as you work towards unlearning the behaviours that hinder your growth, and showing up as the person you would ultimately like to be.
Part of developing strong mental resilience is learning to let go of resistance, and surrendering to the reality of what is. Relieve yourself of the pressure of trying to control situations beyond your power, and practice dropping into the flow of life, moving with it, rather than against it.
If you are experiencing difficulties with your emotions, or would like help with anything discussed in this post, you can book your complimentary consultation here.