8 Things You Need to Know About Emotional Resilience

May 1, 2016 Kerry Sutton

"She STOOD in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her away she ADJUSTED HER SAILS." - Elizabeth Edwards. 

Over the last couple of decades the taboo subject of depression and anxiety has dominated social media. Even celebrities and sports people are breaking their silence. At the same time breakthroughs in research have identified the key role emotional resilience plays in managing emotional health. Positive psychology in particular recognises that all people, no matter their age, have the capacity to build and strengthen their resilience.


♦  Control the Controllables

Focus on what you can control, not what’s out of your control. It's so easy to lump all the problems into one giant overwhelming problem, and feel completely powerless. Instead create a list of each individual issue, and identify the ones you can take action on.

Work on one at a time, and remember to be solution-focused
not problem-focused

♦  Recognise Events as Learning Experiences

Learning in an education setting is obviously important, but the real school of learning is life itself. The challenge or challenges you are experiencing are also opportunities for personal growth and learning.

Remain open and flexible to change so you can maximise the opportunity.

♦   Change your Perception of the Events

Edward De Bono said, “If you can change your perception, you can change your emotion and this can lead to new ideas.” Our view of events can spin out of control sometimes, generating a whirlpool of emotions that cloud our ability to think clearly.  Step back from the event and view it without the emotional content.

If you find this difficult to do then talk to someone
who isn’t emotionally involved.

♦  Take Care of Yourself

Develop and maintain a balanced lifestyle. Prioritise your physical, emotional and spiritual health. Plan to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. Set and maintain healthy boundaries, priorities, and learn to delegate. Practice gratefulness and avoid negative thinking about yourself, your circumstances, and others. Be generous and kind.


Plan time out to restore your energy levels - in nature if you can.

♦  Resist the Need to be Perfect

Do you say or think words like, ‘should’, ‘have to’ ‘must’? Begin to recognise how often you say these words to yourself, and learn to accept when good enough is good enough. Start accepting both your limitations and the limitations of others. Choose to be less defensive. Let go of the need to be perfect, and the need to be right.  

Discover a new found freedom.

♦  Seek Support from Others

Numerous studies have found the more socially connected you are the better your emotional and physical health will be. In fact becoming isolated means a shorter life. So seek the company of people who can support and encourage you. But remember relationships are two way – to have friends we need to be a friend.

So try to understand others, not just expect others to understand you.

♦  Find the Humour in the Little Things

Life isn’t fair! But focusing on difficult experiences makes life way too serious. Lighten up a little and you will begin to see the humor in the smallest of things. Laughter triggers the release of ‘feel good’ endorphin's, increases immune cells and decreases stress hormones. No wonder it promotes a sense of well-being and can even minimise or eliminate pain temporarily.

 Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand”. ~ Mark Twain

♦  Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is about learning to live in the present, instead of ruminating on events which can’t be changed, or worrying about events that haven’t happened yet. Mindfulness can be done almost anywhere, anytime. There is no need to take up a yogi pose for an hour. Even a few minutes of mindfulness is beneficial.

Just bring your full attention to the task you are doing, e.g., hanging out the washing. Be aware of the body movements, the touch, sounds, smell and sight. When thoughts arise, gently acknowledge them, and bring your attention back to the experience of hanging out your washing.


Lets Talk

If you are struggling with a challenging life event, then please call me for a Free 15 minute consultation. We can talk about what is going on for you and I can answer any questions you might have. If I am with a client I will get back to you as soon as I can.

0403 064 874


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