Emotional Resilience in life and at work

You can always recognise those people who have a strong emotional resilience. We envy how they handle life’s stresses, we admire their composure when others are falling apart around them. We are amazed at how they are not easily offended and always able make others feel good about themselves. They just really seem to have it together but we wrongly assume they have always been that way, like they were just born with the calm assurance of having a handle on life. The truth is, they probably had to work hard at developing resilience and generally they have had life harder than you as they have become emotionally smarter.

When is emotional resilience needed

It is true that some people, inherit the character traits that make it easier for them to be less upset by changes and surprises. They may have been fortunate enough to genetically be more capable of reaming calm and stable through life’s challenges. However, the call for emotional resilience and learning how to cope better comes around when we are faced with:

  • Life and all its surprises
  • Exposure to trauma
  • Economic uncertainty
  • Relationship challenges

The good news is that emotional resilience can be developed with effort and practice. If you know what to do, you can become more resilient, even if you are naturally more sensitive to life’s difficulties.

Common traits of emotionally resilient people

Universally these are specific characteristics that resilient people tend to share:

  1. Emotional Awareness

    They understand what they are feeling and why which is the first step to emotional awareness. They further understand what others are feeling and why which is what makes them emotionally intelligent. It goes without saying that they better understand the feelings of others because they are more in touch with their own feelings. This type of emotional understanding allows them to respond appropriately to others and to better regulate and cope with difficult emotions within themselves.

  1. Perseverance

    Emotionally resilient people tend be action-oriented. They tend to be working toward outward goals or on inner strengths and coping strategies. They tend to show an ability to preserver and never give up. Resilient people don’t feel helpless or hopeless when they are facing a challenge. They are more likely to keep working toward a goal when they are faced with an obstacle.

  1. Internal Locus of Control

    They believe that they, rather than outside forces, are in control of their own lives. This trait is associated with less stress because those with an internal locus of control and a realistic view of the world can be more proactive in dealing with stressors in their lives, more solution-oriented, and feel a greater sense of control, which brings less stress.

  1. Optimism

    The glass is always half full is a real thing. Resilient people tend to see the positives in most situations and believe in their strength. This can shift how they handle problems from a victim mentality to an empowered one, and more choices open up.

  1. Support

    Social support plays a critical role in fostering resilience in addition to improving overall mental well-being. While resilient people tend to be strong individuals, they know the value of social networks and peer support. They also surround themselves with supportive friends and family.

  1. Sense of Humor

    A good sense of humor is a powerful defence. People strong in emotional resilience tend to laugh at life and all it’s curve balls. This helps them to stop only seeing threats but rather as challenges and opportunities for learning. This change in perspective has a positive effect on the physical body’s ability to cope with stress.

  1. Perspective

    Resilient people have learnt from their mistakes and can broaden their perspective and understanding. They don’t deny their failings and try to see obstacles as challenges, and allow adversity to make them stronger. Their perspective ables them to stand back from a problem and see the bigger picture. This allows them to find meaning in life’s challenges and avoid seeing themselves as victims.​

  1. Spirituality

    Another research finding is that emotionally resilient people have a deeper meaning for their lives and appear to have a connection to their spiritual side. They tend to have a well-established set of values and principles that they live by. They see life as a journey of improvement and learning. Simply stated they find purpose for their existence.

3 basic steps to improving resilience 

It may be overwhelming seeing all the traits that emotionally resilient people have. There are, however, 3 basic steps you can take to help improve your resilience:

  1. Build connections with other people.
    Prioritize your relationships, make time to connect with people, make an effort to understand them.
  2. Manage your thoughts and emotions.
    Make a point of checking in with how you are feeling. Recognise when you are feeling stressed and anxious. Work on maintaining a hopeful outlook and accept that change and setbacks are part of life. The important thing is to keep working toward your goals and life’s purpose.
  3. Take care of yourself.
    Foster wellness by taking care of your mind and body. Eat well, stay physically active, and avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms. Make time for fun and doing things that you enjoy.

For more information or help with becoming emotionally smarter and more resilient, get in touch today

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