Have you ever been in a situation where managing your emotions became challenging? Were you able to calm yourself down quickly? Having our emotional resilience tested is inevitable. Sometimes it feels like you want to scream your lungs out, but you can’t.
How can some people roll with the punches and adapt to complex scenarios? What traits and habits do they have, and how do you acquire them? Fortunately, it’s not too late to develop emotional resilience. In fact, it’s a skill and attribute that evolves as you experience different types of stress in your life.
What is emotional resilience?
Emotional resilience is remaining calm and collected while experiencing tough situations. Resilient people can identify personal and other people’s stressors. By recognizing these situations, they remain in control of their reactions while tackling hardships. More often than not, these people come out the other end stronger than ever.
A certain degree of challenge is exciting for some people, but the absence of it can be stressful and demotivating. Individuals who don’t push their boundaries can feel frustrated because they lack a sense of growth. Although demanding challenges offer higher resilience, long-term exposure to pressure can be harmful. So people who drive themselves to the limit receive a greater reward but are also prone to burnout.
Research shows that some lifestyle modifications, including physical activities and personal belief systems, foster physical and emotional resilience. By developing these habits and characteristics, you can empower yourself to understand that hardships are temporary.
How does emotional resilience affect your ability to manage stress?
Having emotional resilience doesn’t mean pressure can’t affect you, but resilience can give you the ability to manage stress regularly. As a result of this developed tenacity, you’ll enjoy life because you can handle difficulties better at work and at home. However, if you don’t have emotional resilience, you tend to look at things in a negative light.
Thus, emotionally resilient people can quickly adapt to adversities. When they experience stress and trauma, they still feel anger, grief, and pain, but they can still continue with their lives. Resilience isn’t about sweeping emotions under the rug; it’s about figuring it out yourself.
Your brain will only take action when it feels some level of stress and anxiety. These shortened exposures to stressors are harmless only if you know how to handle them.
Think of emotional resilience as a rubber band. When overextended, it breaks while stretching it too little doesn’t do anything. On the other hand, pulling it enough can propel it to a reasonable distance.
When you feel stressed or threatened, part of your brain triggers an automatic response to either fight or flight. During this response, your body releases adrenaline into the bloodstream. Then, your heart rate decreases, and you start breathing heavily, whether it’s an actual or an imaginary threat. However, these internal ongoings in your body are natural and can be helpful if you know how to react to stressors.
Stress affects people differently. Some people are resilient by nature, others by nurture. It’s a stable personality trait from infancy. Also, it can be a learned characteristic.
Meanwhile, gender also influences a person’s capacity to recover from difficulties. Males and females have different ways of handling stress. So, if you think you’re not as resilient as you want to be, learn from these (8) ways to develop resilience below.
8 Ways to develop emotional resilience for effective stress management
You can gain emotional resilience in day-to-day life with proper knowledge, support, and motivation. Whether you want to deal with work-related stress, troubled relationships, or the downsides of parenting, these simple stress coping skills can help you safeguard your emotional and mental health.
1. Practice acceptance and adaptability
Emotions hinder people from adapting to traumas because they can’t accept the changes in their lives. Keep in mind that emotions are fleeting; they’re temporary. Feelings of fear and disappointment hold you back from attaining a higher sense of self. But if you develop contentment and optimism, you adapt quickly to adversities.
You’ll learn that change is constant, and the only constant thing is change. But it’s important to stay true to yourself and your purpose while having an open mind.
2. Try daily affirmations
Affirmations are daily statements that can reprogram the mind to achieve powerful results. It’ll help you get in the right mindset when challenges come your way. Since people who lack resilience think they’re incapable, positive words can change how they feel about themselves.
You can increase your capacity to heal and accept things as they are when you practice affirmations. A person who deems worthy and capable tends to be happier. So the more you practice positive self-talk, the more you become confident and empowered to take on life’s hardships.
3. Switch up your lifestyle
Staying in your comfort zone makes you complacent because it offers limited growth. Therefore, you tend to feel like you can cope with daily stress and anxiety. Yet, stepping out of your safe place allows you to experiment with different responses. But going too far can cause you to panic.
Developing daily routines is a great stress management technique. Understandably, lifestyle changes can be stressful. So, alleviate the pressure by gradually adjusting to your new regimen.
For example, you may start by waking up and going to bed at the same time every day. And prioritize high-value tasks while blocking off distractions. Then, work your way by incorporating other modifications. Doing so allows your brain to foreshadow your day, thus eliminating potential stressors.
4. Look on the bright side
Optimism helps you remain calm while juggling overwhelming tasks and responsibilities. But, while being optimistic is a good thing, resilient people don’t only focus on the good side of things. Instead, they look at their experiences realistically.
Optimists focus solely on the positive, whereas pessimists play the victim and only attract negativity. So the true sense of resilience is a mix of optimistic and pessimistic traits. They tackle challenges rationally with confidence as opposed to dwelling on the extreme poles of positivity or negativity.
5. Build relationships
Building strong bonds with your peers is a great way to develop resilience. However, some emotions will hold you back regardless of how much you want to connect with people.
For example, people with interpersonal sensitivity feel lonely because they want relationships yet fear rejection. So people who have this circumstance need more reassurance that they’re loved and good enough.
It takes practice to reach out to others, but building bridges and discovering a common ground is still possible.
Look for opportunities to surround yourself with like-minded people. Seek out the chance to communicate with empathy. Maybe you might give other people some insights on how to deal with their problems.
6. Develop a vision
Resilience is less about who you are and more about how you think. It’s a mindset influenced by how you see the world and yourself.
Without a clear vision of where you’re heading, you will feel inadequate, which often leads to anxiety. However, you’ll develop self-esteem if you have a clear personal compass. So, to evolve your resilience, establish a plan to accomplish your goals. Ensure that your objectives are attainable and manageable enough by creating milestones.
7. Enjoy life’s irony
Some people learn to have a sense of humor to cope with stress. It’s not that they don’t take life seriously. Rather they learned how to shift their perspective from seeing challenges as a threat to accepting life’s irony. Laughter has its benefits; you normalize your experience while developing emotional health.
Stressful events can either make or break your emotional resilience. But you must ask yourself, “What is this emotion teaching me?” Every scenario that life throws at you offers a different reaction and determines which response gives you better results.
8. Take a proactive approach
Ignoring problems is not a great solution to managing stress. People who bottle their emotions tend to explode when triggered by stress factors.
Being proactive means trying to engage with change directly. As mentioned, change is all around us, so focus on small joys in life instead of wasting time on unnecessary tasks. Although recovering from traumatic setbacks takes time, know that your situation can improve over time.
Recommended course for you
Working in any sector can be intense and unrelenting, but you can develop your ability to adapt to crises and stressful situations. This course will be valuable if you’re ready to work through your emotions. Here, you’ll learn the importance of emotions in a business to make better decisions.
Become a resilient manager and increase your emotional intelligence by improving how you react to times of adversity. Inspire and retain the best people while strengthening team relationships.
In a nutshell, emotional resilience means the ability to recover from a stressful and traumatic event. It’s the capacity not to allow mishaps to affect your drive and motivation. It’s about knowing that you have emotional baggage and still continue to grow despite the broken pieces.
Note that fears, whether they’re real or not, can cause real damage to your overall well-being. However, building emotional resilience eliminates anxiety and self-doubt. Thus, improving your quality of life.