10 ways to build emotional resilience

emotional resilience

I believe one of the most important things you can do right now is to learn to be emotionally resilient.

This prayer has so much to offer us right now:

The Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

We’re living in uncertain times.

Most of us are living our lives outside of our comfort zone during CoVid-19.

In fact, so much feels uncomfortable.

Emotional resiliency is something you can learn.

I’m learning to find positive ways to help myself when I’m anxious or struggling with fear.  You can too!

I’ve learned how to be resilient as a result of facing three major traumas by using these steps below.

How to become emotionally resilient:

  1. When the going gets tough, show up for yourself – stop waiting for someone to rescue you.  Save yourself.  Take small action steps in the direction you want your life to go.
  2. Spiritualitybeing connected to my spiritual practice has been the cornerstone of resilience for me. Prayer has been an anchor for me in stressful times and traumatic experiences.
    • Surrender your challenge to God (or the Universe; whatever you call it). When you face something that feels overwhelming, surrender it to God.  I’ve written about how to make a God box and write down what you want to surrender.

3.  Be the observer of your thoughts – when you find yourself in a negative spin cycle, stop and breath.  Challenge your negative thoughts and say, “I don’t have to believe you.”  I like to say, “Delete, delete, delete, through all time, space and dimensions.”

4. Learn to become aware of your emotions – people with emotional awareness understand what they’re feeling. When you’re in touch with your inner life, you’re more compassionate with yourself and others.  You’re better able to regulate fear and other negative emotions.

    • Where do you feel stress in your body?
    • What is your bad habit when stressed?

5. Make small changes to improve your health – get better sleep, take a nap, stay physically active, drink plenty of water and eat well.  Be accountable to someone if you want to change a negative behavior.

    • Right now I have a friend who is keeping me accountable on a new health change I want to make.

6. Find ways to calm the body and mind – I listen to relaxing music to help me relax (Google positive vibe music on YouTube). Each night I take an Epsom salt with lavender oil bath.  If you have pets, play with them because they bring you into the present moment.  Spend as much time in nature as you can.

7. Be grateful for positive things in your life – If you can’t find something positive, notice the birds or the sun in the trees. There is always some reason to be grateful.  You might not see it at first.

    • The more grateful you are, the more you will have to be grateful for in your life.

8. Persevere – resilient people possess a growth mindset.  Resilient people are action oriented and don’t give up.  Even when faced with an obstacle, they will continue to press on and trust in the process.

9. Learn to look for the positive in any situation – even if this event is traumatic.  When I was in the hospital, I taught my husband how to do this. All the love and support from everyone was the positive. You must look for it because it’s there. 

10. Build connections with other people – Prioritize your relationships and cultivate them regularly.  Twice a month, I have a Zoom meeting with a small group of women. This has proved to be so helpful for all of us. 

I’ve learned from experience that I can count on myself because I can look back and see how much I’ve overcome.  I’ve learned to become strong. You too will begin to feel strong when you use these tools. Then you can look back at all the hard things you’ve had to overcome.

If you’re struggling to overcome a traumatic event or setback, first talk to your doctor.  A therapist or a coach can also help you learn coping strategies to create greater resilience in the face of life’s challenges.

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