Why Be Emotionally Resilient?

Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, hungry before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, humiliated before you, raped before you…yet, someone survived…You can do anything you choose to do.
Maya Angelou

ImageI’ve been thinking a lot about emotional resiliency lately because I’ve had so many things happen in which I’ve had to call upon this skill/ability. Although I think that my innate nature is to be more resilient, (I’ll explain more about this later); I do believe that it still took years to practice and refine.
What Is Emotional Resilience?
Emotional resilience has been defined as one’s ability to adapt to stressful situations or crises. In other words, those people with emotional resiliency are able to “roll with the punches” and adapt to adversity without creating lasting difficulties. People who are less resilient have a harder time with stress and adversity; even minor as well as major life changes.
How do you develop Emotional Resilience?
It’s been found that emotional resilience is, to a certain extent, something you’re born with. It’s true that some people, by nature, are more adaptable and less upset by changes and surprises. I’m sure you’ve observed this by noticing how some infants/children are more “easy -going” while others aren’t. And, this ability has been found to be stable throughout one’s lifetime. However, emotional resilience can also be affected by situations and events that aren’t under your control, such as age, gender, and exposure to trauma. What I’ve also found is that resilience can be learned and developed with some effort and awareness. Once learned and practiced and brought into your day to day consciousness; it’s possible to become more resilient, even if you are naturally more sensitive to life’s difficulties. It just takes willingness and being conscious of your thoughts and actions in each moment.
How do you know if you or someone else is Emotionally Resilient?
Of course, being emotionally resilient is not black or white. There are many different degrees of how one can handle stress. Yet, there are some specific traits that can help you to know if you or someone else is on track. Some of these traits are:
1. Being in touch with your feelings and inner life as well as the feelings of others.
2. Being action oriented and not giving up.
3. Being in control of your own life rather than believing that outside forces are in control.
4. Being optimistic and seeing the “silver lining” of what look to be or are adverse situations.
5. Being supportive to others as well as having a strong support system.
6. Having a sense of humor.
7. Seeing adverse situations as a challenge rather than as a threat.
8. Learning from our mistakes rather than repeating, defending or denying them.
9. Finding meaning in life’s challenges.
10. Being connected with your spiritual side.
How emotionally resilient are you? As always, I would love to hear from you about this very important subject.
Blessings to you on your journey, Beverly (docbeverly@aol.com)

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