Emotional resilence is an important part of wellbeing in helping us support or emotional health that can be often overlooked. We explored how to build your emotional resilience a few weeks ago in an Instagram Live and I thought it would be useful to share the tools and insights discussed for those who couldn’t make it.
WHAT IS EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE?
Being emotionally resilient can be interpreted and mean something different to everyone. Generally, it means when everything in your life is in balance and you’re able to take on whatever the world throws at you without any longterm impact to your emotional and mental health.
It’s a bit like a suit of armor that allows you to deal with the tough times. When my emotional resilience is intact it enables me to navigate the ups and downs that life throws at me, and basically keep getting up each day.
What happens when your emotional resilience is low
Everything is sailing along smoothly on calm water, everything is well connected, everything feels good. However, what about when the switch gets flipped and everything goes wrong?
When my emotional resilience is low I get this overriding feeling of overwhelm and feeling like a failure at every aspect of life. This is when my inner critic turns up its volume and the voice in my head tells me that I’m not good enough and I start comparing myself to others.
Social media has a lot to answer where comparisonitis is concerned and it’s vital that we use it properly so it doesn’t harm us. It’s important to remember that social media is a highlight reel. The majority post what they want us to see. Even though they may look like they’ve got their sh*t together behind the scenes they could be a total mess. I do like a pretty feed, but I also like realism, which I hope comes across on my own social media accounts.
Comparison can be so sneaky with our emotions and really is the thief of joy. We all succumb to it at various moments of our life and that’s fine if comparison has an inspiring and motivational effect on you. On the contrary, if it’s causing you to feel bad about your life and yourself that’s when it becomes detrimental to your health and where your emotional resilience can lend helping hand and be a big support.
Additionally, I think leaning into your feelings is important and allowing yourself to feel the way you want to feel, which may mean experiencing negative emotions fully. I think we’re told to ‘snap out of it’ a lot, but actually, so much growth happens when you’re in a vulnerable season in your life. And if it’s just that, just a season, then that’s OK. It’s OK not to feel OK as long as it doesn’t consume and cripple you that’s fine. Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, it’s built on ebbs and flows. It would be unrealistic to be so upbeat all the time and it’s perfectly natural to have low life points.
There’s a saying that you ‘grow through what you go through’ and it’s so true. We can learn so much about ourselves and actually flourish from negative situations and turn them into a positive. Being able to come out the other side better for it is a true test to our emotional resilience and why it’s so important for our wellbeing.
What tools and insights are useful to boost your emotional wellbeing?
This is quite subjective and will vary from person to person, but for me, there are 3 main things:
- Dialing up my gratitude practice is a massive game changer. It opens up my eyes to the fact that even though things may be tough, actually I have a lot of good in my life. Sometimes when we’re in a funk we focus on the negatives, which makes us feel like our lives are lacking. However, if we focused more on what we actually have we would feel far richer and happier.
- Celebrating those small little victories that may seem insignificant but actually on a particularly bad day when the only thing you’ve maybe achieved is washing your hair or putting the laundry away these are actually the big things that can give you a boost if celebrated.
- Getting outdoors and connecting with nature is another big one for me. Being outside is an instant mood booster, exercise and fresh air can do you the world of good. I often go on a walk with a podcast and zone out for a while and feel so much better afterward for taking that time for myself.
Ultimately, I think anything that you find nourishing and rewarding is going to be a big help. It’s worthwhile making a list of these things that help support your emotional wellbeing that you can refer back to or just repeating some of these things to make them more of a habit in your routine to make you feel more supported and balanced.
Focusing on small acts of self care every day will give you the space you need to relax, show up in your life fully and stay centred when things get tough.
What common factors can hinder your emotional resilience?
Again this is highly subjective and there are many factors that could be a hindrance to developing your emotional resilience. I find being disorganised a big one for me. I think it’s because I feel like I’m not in control and it definitely stems from my perfectionist tendencies. If my environment is chaotic then so is my mind, which leaves me feeling emotionally vulnerable and open to dips in my mental wellbeing. Also, I’m not so good when I’m tired and drained. The days just seem longer and more of a mountain to climb. However, it’s something that you can’t control as a parent, but it does have the biggest impact.
Factors to help you build up your emotional resilience
When I let my self care practices slip, which I have of late. Sometimes it can be difficult to fit those 10 minutes in your day for yourself and I know how on a busy day it can feel like another thing on your to-do list. But, I try to flip my mindset and focus on how good it’s going to make me feel afterward and it helps me to prioritise it more. The reality is that anytime you invest in yourself is only going to have a positive impact and well worthwhile. One thing that I’m working on right now is to build more self care into my night time routine. I’m going to start hiding my phone at night to improve my quality of sleep.
Another thing that helps me build my emotional resilience is making space for things that bring me joy. I like to schedule time in the diary for things that make me happy or boost your wellbeing, such as meeting up with friends or going for a long walk.
I’d love to hear what helps you build your emotional resilience and how it helps your wellbeing in the comments below or send me a message or comment on social media where you can also stay up to date by hitting the follow button: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.