5 Secrets To Emotional Resilience And Ways To Reclaim Happiness

emotional resilience

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We all know someone who, regardless of what happens in their life, appear to get through it with ease. They heal very quickly in comparison to others. These types of people have an outrageous level of emotional resilience.

What is emotional resilience?

A person with emotional resilience can adjust and work through tough situations, big and small. Resilience helps to reduce stress, and allows you to adapt to life changes.

Qualities that support emotional flexibility are:

emotional flexibility
  • Social Support
  • Problem-solving
  • Independence
  • Forgiveness
  • Empathy
  • Self belief

5 steps to becoming a more resilient person

1. Develop an attitude of self compassion and self awareness.

People who are self compassionate are very gentle and kind with themselves.

They are not harsh with themselves and they are not critical.

You know you are struggling with self compassion if you find yourself cringing at the very thought or have negative thoughts such as:

“It’s impossible to be self compassionate.”

or

“I don’t deserve to be self compassionate.”……

In these instances, most have grown up in a childhood or had guardians or parents who were very critical and you have eventually internalized that negative voice in your head.

If you struggle with this, trust me you are not alone.

2. Consider what you believe about your emotions.

Negative thoughts or beliefs regarding having emotions impact your ability to be an emotionally resilient person.

If you notice negative thoughts about your emotions, start to challenge those negative analogical thoughts because the truth of this situation is……

Your emotions mean something and your emotions matter. They are valid.

Start believing you change your thoughts by challenging them. A qualified counselor can be beneficial with this, if you are having a hard time.

You must also ask yourself “Where are these negative beliefs coming from?”

This might have been something you’ve witnessed growing up or something that you’ve heard a lot about.

Becoming aware of these thoughts and where they came from will help you to internalize some important insights:

  1. Your emotions are logical.
  2. Your emotions mean something.
  3. Your emotions came from somewhere.

3. Validate your emotions.

What I mean by this, is working towards creating a process for yourself to validate your emotions from the inside, not from the outside.

You want to get yourself to a place where you can validate yourself without needing outside sources to do it for you.

Things you can do to work towards validating your emotions:

  1. Name the emotion that you are going through without judging yourself. If you are struggling with stress, instead of thinking to yourself “Why am I stressed out?”, be self compassionate and instead think to yourself “Ok, I’m feeling a bit of stress. “
  2. Identify the source of your stress. Where’s this coming from and how can I work to let go of it? What do I need to do in order to be less stressed out?

Shifting Your Thoughts

The reason I emphasize thoughts is because your thoughts impact the way that you feel which then impacts the way you behave. If you want to be emotionally resilient, it actually starts with your thoughts and not your emotions.

If you have a hard time doing this, seeing a counselor is helpful, as they are trained in exactly how to help you change your thoughts to be productive and positive.

4. Practice gratitude

Research shows gratitude is another factor that helps people become emotionally resilient.

A grateful mind encourages:

  • Acceptance of situations, even when they are harsh
  • Focus on solutions instead of the problem
  • Identifying positive outcomes
  • Maintaining relationships

5. Improving Emotional Resilience with Meditation

emotional resilience

Meditation is a great way to practice gratitude, and studies reveal it encourages the effects of emotional resilience by increasing cognitive flexibility and attention. It is a mental exercise used to heighten awareness and attention with the aim of encouraging the stability of physical, emotional, and mental states.

There are many types of meditation, each incorporating elements from different cultures, religions, and points of focus. The underlying theme for each technique is to achieve balance. For today’s purposes, we will focus on mindful meditation.

Mindful meditation asks you to think freely without passing judgment. Instead, allow yourself to appreciate each thought, as well as notice feelings or changes to the body. This allows for a deeper connection with yourself as you begin to understand your state of mind. The focus is concentration on the self, this practice can be completed alone without a teacher to guide. This is great for those seeking inner reflection.

Beginner’s Meditation Tips

Starting and embracing meditation can be daunting, especially with all the different methods of practice.

Here are five general tips to help you during the meditation sessions:
  • Take baby steps. Begin meditating for only a few minutes per session, increasing the duration a little bit each time until you reach the perfect length that works for you.
  • Have a routine. Find the perfect place in your schedule. Whether it is every day or only once a week, having a designated time for meditation will make it easier to commit and follow through with sessions. Setting reminders can also help you schedule meditation.
  • Get comfortable. Creating a space for meditation is another important planning step. A place you can truly relax without distraction is an ideal location for sessions. You may consider your bedroom, a cozy space in nature, or your place of worship.
  • Ask for help. You may feel like you don’t know how to start out all. Guided meditations are great for beginners, including online videos or studio sessions in a class. This will also help you discover the right style of meditation that works best for you!
  • Practice makes perfect! Remember nobody’s perfect. Be open to the mistakes you make, such as losing focus or forgetting a session. Like any activity, practice and hard work will help you achieve the benefits.

If you start to apply these five tips, you have great chances at building a healthy emotional resilience. You will be able to overcome most challenges and be an overall happier person.

Please leave a comment below and let me know….. What are you doing to become a more emotionally resilient person?

Sara Makin MSEd, LPC, NCC

Sara Makin MSEd, LPC, NCC

All articles are written in conjunction with the Makin Wellness Research Team.

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