In our everyday life, we come across various life hassles that are a cause of stress for us. Some would cause minute inconveniences while some can have a profound effect on us. Emotional resilience helps us not only deal with these uncertain situations but also to come out of it as stronger individuals. Most of us must have heard of the term ‘resilience’. In simple words, resilience is the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from an arduous life event. The definition is based on two core concepts: ‘adversity’ and ‘positive adaptation’. A substantial body of evidence suggests that resilience is required in response to different adversities, ranging from ongoing daily hassles to major life events, and that positive adaptation must be conceptually appropriate to the adversity examined in terms of the domains assessed and the stringency of criteria used. The second section examines the conceptualization of resilience as either a trait or a process and explores how it is distinct from several related terms.
Emotional resilience is one of the pillars of mental health and positive psychology. APA defines resilience as “the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands.”
Emotional resilience is, to a degree, something you are born with. Some people, by nature, are less affected by uncertainty and changes, while some get deeply affected by it. Emotional resilience is related to other factors as well such as Age, Gender, and Exposure to trauma. These factors are beyond your control. Although, there are ways to develop and build emotional resilience.
How to deal with stress and build emotional resilience
- Introspect and name the feeling: The first step to having more control over your feelings is to identify them. Whenever you are feeling something, pleasant or unpleasant, pause for a moment and try to answer ‘What am I feeling right now?’. Trust your intuition to answer this, do not overthink it.
- Accept and sit with the emotion: If you are feeling sad, anxious, frustrated, angry, disgusted, guilty, or even calm and happy, just accept it. Don’t be hard on yourself for feeling a certain way. Don’t try to fix it or look out for a solution, just sit with your present emotion.
- Practice self-compassion: Be kind towards yourself when you are going through a difficult situation. Don’t beat yourself up for being emotional. It’s ok to feel disappointed. Take some time off from your routine to feel better. A walk in nature may help you to process your thoughts and release pent-up emotions.
- Prioritize relations: Multiple studies have shown that we are physically and emotionally healthier when we have social support. Connecting with empathetic and understanding people can remind you that you’re not alone in the midst of difficulties. Hiding your feelings can be exhausting and it’s important to build open communication with at least a couple of people.
- Find a hobby: Channelise your energy into doing something you enjoy. “Creative projects can help us experience ‘flow’ which is an incredibly regenerative state of mind,” explains Koury. Experiment with something new. It could be anything like cooking, dancing, baking, etc.
- Sachar, A. (2021, May 26). How to improve emotional resilience and mental immunity. https://www.vogue.in/wellness/content/how-to-improve-emotional-resilience-and-mental-im munity
- APA(January1,2012) Building your resilience. Retrieved from: https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience/building-your-resilience
- Sites, S. Emotional Resilience: 8 Ways to Be More Emotionally Resilient https://www.berkeleywellbeing.com/8-ways-to-be-more-emotionally-resilient.html
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