Improving Emotional Resiliency - December 26 2022

Emotional resiliency is our ability to rebound from negative events. Most of us are so busy living life that we forget to check in with ourselves and notice when our emotional reserves are being depleted. Most of us tend to notice only when we are totally drained and emotionally exhausted. Even for those of us who do check in on our emotional reserves regularly, we often don’t know what to do when we notice that they are being depleted. The good news is, we can learn to check in on ourselves and create a toolkit that allows us to identify the situations that are emotionally draining and how best to handle or avoid those dynamics. By paying attention to what makes our hearts sing and what causes us pain, we can begin the process of categorization. It is important that we look at both sides of the coin, the good and the bad, to avoid a downward spiral. When doing the work of having more good days than bad, it is essential to have balance whenever possible. By balancing the bad with the good, we can remain hopeful. Even if the bad currently outweighs the good, acknowledging that we know what the good looks like will allow us to know that we have experienced good. If we have never experienced good, knowing what we think “good” is demonstrates that, at minimum, we once had the conditions necessary for us to formulate our understanding of what good means to us.

Examining and reflecting on what types of situations are emotionally uplifting and what situations cause us pain starts the process of protecting our happiness. Happiness, safety, joy, and self-love are what create our ability to bounce back. Emotional resiliency takes focus and work. For most folx, the biggest drain on their happiness, safety, joy, and self-love is criticism. The most common type of criticism is negative self-talk. Learning how to bounce back from negative self-talk or criticism from others plays a key role in being emotionally resilient. The first step in this process is to understand why negative self-talk exists. Negative self-talk is the brain’s way of trying to protect you from hurt and disappointment by limiting your experience. When a negative thought comes to mind, whether it is about you, another person, or a situation, ask yourself what purpose are these thoughts serving? Is it to prevent you from taking an action, to prepare you for a difficult task, or for some other reason? Our brain is structured to protect us and keep us safe. Negative and intrusive thoughts are grounded in protection. Knowing what these thoughts are protecting us from means we can take a step back and acknowledge that not all of our protective habits and thoughts are working for us. After that, we can start to develop new ones, and that’s where understanding what gives us joy comes in.

Understanding what brings us joy is important because we cannot always avoid what causes us discomfort or pain. Knowing that some negatives are inevitable in life and focusing on how to balance the bad with good is central to becoming more resilient. Actively seeking out what brings us joy, even if it is a small pleasure, will begin the habit of coming from a place of positivity. We begin by looking for small moments of joy in each day and crafting a positive focus for our life. When we look at what creates joy, it can be a frustrating process. We can get bogged down by thinking that we don’t know what joy is or how to feel joy. If that is the case, start with feeling neutrality. If you are unable to feel neutrality, categorize the negativity on a scale from 1 to 10 and start by looking at what makes any experience less negative that a 10. Deciphering what decreases negativity can be a pathway to figuring out what creates positivity. There are clues in every experience about what we enjoy and do not enjoy. Becoming more resilient starts with understanding what is depleting you and then looking for what will replenish you. By categorizing your experiences, you will begin the process of being aware of how your resiliency is being drained. This will allow you to devise a plan to replenish and to take time to recharge.

Posted on 26 Dec 2022 08:36

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License