As children, we are encouraged to ‘be resilient,’ but what does that mean?
Resilience is one’s ability to recover quickly from difficulties or withstand adversity and bounce back from wearisome or traumatic life events that can lead to stress, emotional upheaval, or suffering.
In my personal experience, self-regulation is the most challenging core element of emotional intelligence to implement effectively because it requires self-awareness, self-articulation, resilience, and action.
Emotional resilience plays a key role in your mental health, specifically coping with stress in a positive way. The more self-aware we become, the more evidence we have on how stress impacts our relationships, let alone our way to create and experience satisfaction within them.
Additional reasons why emotional resilience is important:
Increased health and longevity
Lower rates of depression
Greater satisfaction in life— content, fulfilled, happier, joyful, and grateful.
A more natural and steady sense of control
In my article, “3 Things Childhood Taught Me about the Value of Emotional Intelligence and Relationships,” I mention that many of us are not given the skills to self-regulate or effectively communicate when feeling anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, or other strong emotions. Equally, we may not know the signs that reflect a lack of emotional resilience.
Here are some indicators that you can benefit from developing your emotional resilience:
When faced with conflict, you are quick to raise your voice.
You often feel the need to apologize for saying or doing things that hurt others.
You elicit aggressive behavior (throwing things, hitting things, slamming doors).
You are quick to blame the others.
You cannot communicate the root reason for your intense emotions and reactions.
It is important not to judge yourself if you relate to any of the above examples. Instead, have compassion for yourself while becoming aware of the areas you wish to improve in your life. Self-love is an essential step to creating positive change because how you feel about yourself will determine your thoughts which determine how you react and decide on a course of action.
Emotional resilience can give us the strength we need to process and overcome hardship. Encouraging us to tap into our inner strength while also giving us the courage to reach out for support when necessary— preventing us from falling down the rabbit hole of unhealthy coping mechanisms and despair.
Here are some things you can do to improve your emotional resilience?
Develop your level of self-awareness - Get clear on your emotions, what triggers you, how you feel, currently react, and the impact that has on you and others.
Attention. Focus with curiosity - Set aside some time each day to develop your level of mindful awareness. Get curious about what is happening inside and around you without judgment.
Physically, let go so you can flow - Get up, move around, go out for a walk.
Changing the environment can be refreshing and give you a ‘reboot.’
Mentally, let go so you can flow - If you get lost in negative thoughts, focus on a pleasant memory or listen to an uplifting song.
Stop & swap - If you have a negative thought or feel like you are about to react, stop what you are doing, acknowledge your thoughts and feelings, then swap them out for a more productive or positive thought or feeling.