“The kindest people you know, those who have incredible patience and understanding with others, have seen terrible dark days. They have had moments when their heart was stretched by intense pain. Their character is unchanging because despair once deeply excavated their soul.”
Adversity doesn’t discriminate. All people experience various forms of trials, troubles and stressors in varying degrees and at various stages of life. All people can choose to develop skills to become emotionally resilient.
What is emotional resilience?
When faced with stressful and crisis situations, people who are emotionally resilient tend to access healthy internal and external support resources. This enables them to respond from a mind space of working through the hard things and looking for growth opportunities.
Emotional resilience is a person’s ability to adapt to or bounce back from stressful or crisis situations. Generally, emotionally resilient people have the ability to adapt to minor stresses which helps prepare them to adapt to major stressors and crises (Southwick et. al, 2005).
Are you in a mental space to look for the silver lining in the dark storm clouds? Are you able to make the effort to make lemonade out of the lemons? While for some this may seem simple, for others this feels absolutely overwhelming and completely out of reach. There are valid reasons for this.
Emotional resilience can be challenged by several factors including:
- mental and emotional illness
- daily stressors (overwhelm and underwhelm)
- life events (major and minor)
- traumas (past and present)
- age, gender, and other identifying traits
When the above factors are negatively impacting a person’s ability to respond in healthy ways to life stressors and experiences, professional support is recommended. Working through hard things with support helps a person learn coping skills and gain confidence in their ability to respond to stressful situations moving towards emotional resilience. The following are traits that can be developed to foster emotional resilience:
Traits of Emotionally Resilient People (Scott, 2020)
- Internal locus of control
- Emotional awareness
- Optimistic mindset
- Connected to others
- Sense of humor
- Sense of purpose
- Spiritual belief system
Here are 3 Keys to developing emotional resilience (Hone, n.d.)
- Acceptance that suffering is part of life. Ask yourself: Why not me?
- Choose where your focus is. Change what you can and accept what you can’t.
- Do a self-assessment: Ask: Is what I am doing helping or harming me? How? Where are the growth opportunities in this situation?
Working towards emotional resilience is possible! If you or a loved one could benefit from developing emotional resilience coping skills, reach out to Solace Emotional Health for a knowledgeable and compassionate therapist to help you.
Hone, L. (n.d.). 3 Secrets of Emotional Resilience: The three secrets of resilient people. TEDxChristchurch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWH8N-BvhAw&t=10s
Southwick, S.M.,Vythilingam, M., Charney, D.S. The psychobiology of depression and resilience to stress: implications for prevention and treatment. Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2005;1:255-291. doi:10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.1.102803.143948
Scott, E. (2020, April 28). Why Emotional Resilience Is a Trait You Can Develop