How to Build Emotional Resilience


While you are in the grasp of strong negative emotions it may seem difficult to build any resilience to life’s less pleasurable experiences. It is possible though, and that’s a thought you should bear in mind if you are experiencing excessive negative thoughts.

How come some people give up and cry into a bottle, while others just pick themselves up, dust themselves off and carry on as if nothing happened? They’re called coping skills, and anyone can develop them.

Flexibility and adaptation are undoubtedly two outlooks that help people recover from bad situations. Whereas someone who may feel entrenched in their negative feelings finds it harder to remove themselves from those feelings and change direction, those who are willing to see emotions as things that grip them tighter the more they focus on them, and understand how to let go and change direction quickly, come out on top.

In a way, emotions are like quicksand or Chinese finger traps.

By seeing negative events in your life as flexible, short term situations, you can more easily move on. Let’s imagine someone who sees these negative events as a fixed point in space and time (pardon the sci-fi speak, but this does make sense). To them, that disappointment they felt with themselves or that failure they felt, is a fixed point in their life. It’s always there. Nothing they can do will change that fact that there is failure and disappointment in their lives.

Those who view situations as being temporary, will be more likely to see the same situation as a speed bump in Life’s rear view mirror.

So what can you do to help you adopt this outlook?

Ever poured paint or bleach into a bucket of water? That’s how negative people think. When one bad thing enters their life, it starts to spread and color everything else. They may well have been the life and soul of the party until that point, but now everything is just a mess!

Try seeing new challenges as crayons that can be laid side-by-side with each other. Don’t dwell on the fact that you didn’t manage to quit smoking today, but see that you smoked less and are not going to let a temporary setback prevent you from trying again the next day.

Just because you don’t get something done the first time doesn’t mean you won’t get it done at another point in the future. No one writes a book, paints a portrait or drives a car the first time they try.


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