Current times call for Emotional Resilience! We all have had our share of ups and downs and we need to see that light at the end of the tunnel. The good news is that Emotional Resilience is a skill that can be enhanced to bring some much-needed relief. To say that bringing balance back into our lives is necessary is an understatement. Thankfully, we can learn to be more resilient! 

The emotional responses we have to adversity determine our level of emotional resilience. The word Resilience comes from Latin – Resilio- which means to bounce back or recoil. 

Emotional Resilience has many definitions, so what exactly is it? One way to define it according to the American Psychological Association is “a process of adapting well when faced with adversity, trauma, tragedy, and significant sources of stress.“ 

Individuals with a high level of emotional resilience can recognize and manage their emotions in situations of crisis, adversity, and hardships. They also have the ability to grow and learn from challenges, according to Penn State University.  Emotional Resilience is a skill and trait that we are born with and it continues to develop throughout our lives. Its development is also strongly influenced by the environment we grow up in and it continues to be influenced by our personal and professional environment during adulthood. Who we surround ourselves with and the company we keep influences how we handle our emotions. It is important to keep in mind that someone who is emotionally resilient still gets upset and feels overwhelmed at times. The difference is that they can acknowledge and deal with their emotions with ease. For those of us who are less resilient, there is good news – this skill can be developed with practice. 

What enhances Emotional Resilience? How do I get it? 

Certain experiences are more difficult to handle than others however, it is inevitable that the sooner we start working out those emotional resilience muscles the better. According to Mayo Clinic, the most important exercise for improving your resilience is training your attention and awareness. This means focusing on and recognizing how we react to intense and challenging experiences and the emotions that come up. 

However, the question lingers on, what if we do not recognize these traits or practices in ourselves? What can we do? 

Here are a few tips, and you can find more practices 

  • Nurturing the feeling of control – it is vital for humans to feel a sense of control over their lives
  • Developing a sense of self-esteem – being kind to ourselves and compassionate
  • Developing optimism and hope – taking notice of the words we choose to speak to and about ourselves as well as others
  • Cultivating a sense of positivity, well-being, and purpose – using habits and rituals 
  • Practicing gratitude each day – nature, journaling, mindfulness
  • Developing SMART goals: setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound
  • Exercise –  dedicating time to move the body every day 

Implementing these practices into daily life can bring about great results in emotional resilience growth. Numerous exercises and introspective self-development tools are also available to those who are willing to dive in and explore the world of emotional resilience.

Emotional Resilience at Home and Work 

The current situation has taken away the natural balance most of us have – work-life vs. home life. Balance is crucial – we need to find the balance between work and home. Many are asking themselves “Where work-life stops and  home life begins?” The boundaries have vanished. This space we cherish has been invaded by the professional side of our life and it is hard to find tranquility, peace, and relaxation. Balance can be restored by recognizing our needs and being aware of our emotions and feelings. We can also implement habits of stopping the work mode at a certain hour, putting work-related items away – laptops, papers, work phones, by changing our clothes, or going outside when we finish work, to catch some fresh air, and after returning focusing on home life. 

Resilience at work is a topic that needs to be addressed as well. What does that mean? Or better yet, what is it not? Resilience at work does not mean we just have to sweep challenges and feelings under the rug and put on a brave face. In order for resilience to be effective at work a positive, open-minded environment is needed. This means that the leadership and management will benefit from being open to listening and hearing the needs of the employees, a good example is Personal Time Off (PTO).  In order to prevent burnout, time off is needed. The employees, on the other hand, have to muster up the courage to speak out and inform about their needs. The situation both, at work and at home has changed. We can only improve our situations by being aware of how we are feeling and reacting to the environment around us. Once we are aware, we can process and then voice our needs to improve and potentially eliminate oncoming challenges. 

Resilience is an effective and powerful tool, it does however take time and consistency to build up. The benefits of being a resilient individual are worth every minute spent on cultivating them. We need tools that work, and resilience is a win-win solution. Resilience is accessible to all and every one of us can expand our resilience by regularly exercising this skill. Just as we work and flex our muscles when we exercise the same tactic works with resilience. To grow that resilience muscle we must be consistent, aware, patient, and set some future goals. Emotional Resilience is something we can choose to implement to have more control over the quality of our daily life.