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Strategies to Building Emotional Resilience

Imagine that your local news unexpectedly announces a category 5 Hurricane that might potentially have a devastating impact on your area. For those of us living in Florida, and those who live in or visit “Hurricane Alley” regions during hurricane season, this is a potential reality. Would you panic, become hysterical, and plan to flee in desperation? Or would you calmy strategize and execute a plan with the resources you currently have? Let’s take into account our current worldwide life-changing event, the pandemic. Are you able to recognize what were your initial thoughts and actions? Individuals with high levels of emotional resilience have the ability to cope with many facets and aspects of life without becoming paralyzed or overwhelmed. Change is an inevitable aspect of life and building emotional resilience allows us to become aware of these changes, accept them, and adjust through planning ahead. It gives us room to “bounce back” from difficult experiences, maintain focus on personal growth and the lesson at hand.

While life stressors and adverse events can be difficult and painful, they don’t have to determine the direction of your life. We all face adversity, trauma, and other life stressors that can leave us feeling worried, depressed, afraid, discouraged, unloved, and empty. However, the problem rests when persistent exhaustion, discouragement, and fear of the future keep us from living life to our full potential. The good news is that emotional resilience can be built when you are intentional about taking the necessary steps to break staying stagnant or being immobile. We can all choose to move towards a path that will lead us to feel motivated and empowered as we look forward to the future. You may ask, how do we tap into that inner power that breaks us out of fear into a more positive mindset? Below are 7 strategies that can help increase your capacity for emotional resilience and grow from difficulties.

  1. Foster wellness: What are you doing to practice self-care and personal wellness today?  Self-care involves promoting positive lifestyle factors like proper nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, and ample sleep, which reduces stress and promotes physical and emotional well-being. Think about ways in which you can incorporate wellness in your life today.  

  2. Build your connections: Fear gets amplified in isolation, which is why community and a positive support system is essential to building emotional resilience. Consider surrounding yourself with mentally healthy people in your circle who hold you accountable for staying on track, considering different options and that encourage you to move forward.  

  3. Find meaning and purpose: Resilient individuals foster self-growth, build connections and gain a sense of purpose through helping others. Whether you find opportunities to volunteer or help a friend in a time of need, being proactive will foster self-discovery and appreciation for life.

  4. Embrace healthy thoughts: Keep things in perspective. Our train of thought plays a significant role in how emotionally resilient we are when faced with obstacles. Try to identify irrational thinking and substitute with more balanced and realistic thinking. Give yourself time and room to assess a situation before acting upon impulse. Changing how we interpret a situation and respond to it will likely determine a more positive outcome. Remember that your past is not an indicator of what the future holds.  

  5. Avoid negative outlets: Sometimes it might seem inevitable or tempting to turn to negative coping strategies such as alcohol, drugs, or other addictions to mask our pain. This is why accountability and learning new coping skills to manage stress becomes a pivotal aspect of building emotional resilience. Ask for help when needed and know that there are safe people and places when you begin to look for them.  

  6.  Move towards your goals: “What is the one thing you can do today that will help you move forward in the direction you want to go?” The key to goal setting is to focus on realistic and attainable goals that help you get closer to the things you want to accomplish. Celebrate small wins along the way and reflect on personal growth.  

  7. Face your fears: When we face our fears, they become less frightening and we build confidence. Think about what scares you and why? What would you be doing or how would your life improve if this fear didn’t exist? Practice a more positive internal dialogue when facing fears: “I’m scared but I will learn from this.” “This is a test that’s going to make me stronger!”

Remember if you keep doing things the same way, chances are you will obtain the same result. It’s time for a change! If you feel like building emotional resilience is something you or a family member would like to work on, please contact me at www.DianneBrown.live for more information.

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