Why is it some people fall apart when events prove just too much for them? And why do others seem to take things in their stride and weather emotional storms with aplomb? These are people who bounce back from adversity. They are emotionally resilient. How do they get that way?
Here are some suggestions for keeping emotionally strong and happy.
- Be self-aware. Listen to your body. Do you tense up in your neck and shoulders when you’re under pressure? Can you make an effort to relax? Do yoga? Get a massage? And listen to your mind, too. Do you feel a bit out of sorts when the weather’s gloomy? Do you literally need more light in your life? Do you need to stay away from people who bring you down? Pay attention to yourself, and act accordingly.
- Understand things change. Your life might be in a bad place right now, but things do get better. Your suffering is temporary, and it is not who you are. There are proactive things you can do to make your life better. Just understanding that you can take some control to make improvements—that alone will help.
- Reach out. Get to know people who are emotionally resilient themselves. Surround yourself with true friends who are sympathetic and supportive. People you absolutely trust so you can tell them what’s troubling you without any negative repercussions.
- Own your difficulties. Yes, you are going through a rough patch. Allow yourself to experience a full range of emotions. Take it all in. Face the truth about your situation and accept the pain. Don’t try to fight it with a stiff upper lip—you will only postpone your suffering. Instead, lean into your problems and find their root causes so you’ll know what to do differently in the future. Be patient with yourself. You will bounce back when you’re ready.
- Nourish your soul. When life is just too much for you, slow down. Let yourself be quiet. Practice mindfulness and seek out balance in your life. Seek out peace of mind. If you haven’t tried meditation, now is the time. If you already meditate, do not neglect your practice when you’re under stress. You may even want to extend the time you spend in silent meditation. Or find a place in nature that calms your heart. Or pet your dog. Or listen to peaceful music.
- Work it out. Sometimes it helps to be proactive. To get up and DO something, even though you can’t solve your problem directly through your actions. But getting up to power walk or work out at the gym can make you feel better. Or making bread and pounding the dough. Or starting a journal and writing how you feel. Sometimes these temporary measures are enough to jump-start you out of a slump.
Finally, many people who are emotionally healthy are also grateful people. They are happy for the good things and people in their lives, and they don’t forget to feel thankful. That’s always a good habit for maintaining your emotional well-being.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: https://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact-us.