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Are you someone who gets easily flustered? Do you find it extremely difficult to cope with stressful situations? Does something going wrong “ruin your mood for the whole day”? Does criticism by your manager leave you highly stressed? Are you unable to cope with workplace stress?
If you find yourself getting overwhelmed and unable to face day to day challenges, you might not be emotionally resilient. You need to take steps to improve your emotional resilience. Emotional resilience training helps you handle stress and negative emotional stimuli in a better manner.
What is Emotional Resilience?
Emotional resilience refers to one’s ability to acclimate to stressful situations or crises.
Resilient individuals can adapt to adversity without difficulties. In other words, emotional resilience is how calm you are when facing challenges, and how well you can bounce back after a negative experience.
Emotional resilience of an individual depends on many factors, including, age, gender, and exposure to trauma. People who are more emotionally aware tend to be more resilient. Nonetheless, it is possible to develop mental fortitude through emotional resilience training.
Why is Emotional Resilience Important?
Setbacks and disappointments are inevitable in life. However, being resilient helps you “bounce back” faster. Furthermore, when you are not bothered easily, you have better clarity of thought. You can look at the bigger picture as you are not ruled by your immediate emotions. Thus, emotional resilience helps you focus on your long term goals and make better decisions.
Emotional Resilience at Work
Modern work environments are generally highly competitive and ever-changing. A person faces many changes and challenges in a dynamic workplace. Being emotionally resilient at work is an essential skill for a modern professional.
Emotional resilience helps you maintain a calm demeanour. Thus, you make better decisions and cultivate better relationships with colleagues. A resilient workforce tends to have clearer communication, as they seldom “lose their cool”. They can make more logical decisions and can think of alternative paths if something goes wrong.
Moreover, it gives you a healthier outlook on working life. Being reprimanded, delays in a project, failures and even being laid off isn’t the end of the world. You can always become better prepared and move forward.
How to Become Emotionally Resilient:
Though some aspects of emotional resilience is innate, one can always develop resilience by taking the following steps:
1. Grow your Self-Awareness
People with higher emotional intelligence tend to be more resilient. It is important to be emotionally aware:
- Understand what you are feeling: If someone criticized your work and you feel overwhelmed, what exactly do you feel? Do you feel angry? Sad? Unappreciated?
- Understand why you are feeling it: Do you feel unappreciated because your contributions weren’t acknowledged? Why are you feeling what you feel?
- Know how it impacts your actions: All of us, to some extent, are impacted by our emotions. If you are frustrated, do you take it out on your subordinates? Or do you accept undeserved blame if you are guilted into it?
Self-awareness allows us to realize that our emotional state is something we can change and control. Then, when you are overwhelmed, you can analyze and overcome it.
2. Build Strong Social Networks
Having good personal relationships gives you strength to overcome, endure and move on from problems. If you have someone to confide in, and someone whose advice you trust, you can come up with many solutions to your issues. Building strong social networks can be an “emotional safety net” during times of crises.
3. Develop Healthy Habits
During stressful and crisis situations, it is difficult to develop or maintain healthy habits. You may not sleep well, skip meals, and ignore exercise. However, this will only deteriorate your physical health and cognitive ability. This can lead you to feel more worn-out and cause you to make wrong decisions.
Mental and physical health require regular maintenance: meditation, healthy diet and exercise. Mindfulness & meditation can calm your mind and increase emotional awareness. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels. Even just sitting with yourself for some time can help you develop metacognition and self-awareness.
4. Be the Master of Your Life: Internal Locus of Control
Emotionally resilient individuals believe that they are in control of their own lives rather than external factors and forces. You may not be able to control your circumstances, but you can control how to respond. People with an internal locus of control tend to be more proactive — as they are looking for factors under their control that can be used to improve the situation. This gives you a greater sense of control and makes you more solution-oriented. Our attitude and approach to life’s problems can determine our quality of life.
5. Positive Thinking: Believe in Yourself
In the face of trouble and obstacles, it is easy to lose heart and take on a defeatist attitude. However, believing in yourself and looking for opportunities takes strength and character. Positive thinking is a trait that can be developed over time. Be aware of your thoughts: replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Instead of thinking “I’m broke!”, think “let me get some financial guidance from my family and friends”. Instead of “My life is a mess”, think “I can get back control of my life”.
Journaling on a daily basis can help you keep track of your negative thoughts. Writing down your worries can clear your mind and you can re-approach your issues with better clarity of thought.
6. Improve Problem Solving Skills
Highly stressful situations can seem insurmountable.
Firstly, analyze the issue. Establish your long-term goals. Break those down to short-term goals. Make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, realistic and time-bound. Brainstorm possible solutions and convert them to actionable items. Then, perform these actions consistently till you achieve your short-term & long-term goals. Periodically review your progress and try alternative solutions.
Breaking down issues to smaller manageable goals helps you feel in control and makes it less daunting.
7. Stick With It: Persevere
It takes practice & time to build emotional resilience. Don’t be discouraged if you struggle dealing with stressful events. Keep practicing these habits. Focusing on cultivating healthy habits even in the absence of immediate results increases your persistence.
Being disciplined and persevering helps in developing emotional resilience.
If you are struggling to overcome a traumatic event or setback, talk to a mental health professional. A therapist can help you learn coping strategies that can foster greater resilience in the face of life's challenges. You can contact us for guidance by calling +91 97414 76476 or by visiting our website.