Building Emotional Resilience

Building Emotional Resilience

While you are in the grasp of strong negative emotions it may seem difficult to build any resilience to life's less pleasurable experiences. It is possible, and that's a thought you should bear in mind if you are experiencing excessive negative thoughts.

Why do some people give up and cry into a bottle, while others pick themselves up, dust themselves off and carry on as if nothing happened? They're called coping skills, and anyone can develop them.

Flexibility and adaptation are undoubtedly two outlooks that help people recover from bad situations. However, someone who feels entrenched in their negative feelings finds it harder to separate themselves from those feelings and change direction. Emotions can be things that grip you tighter the more you focus on them. Understanding how to let go and change direction quickly can help you come out on top.

Emotions can be like quicksand.

By seeing negative events in your life as flexible, short term situations, you can more easily move on. Let's imagine someone who sees these negative events as a fixed point in space and time. To them, the disappointment, or failure that they felt, is a fixed point in their life. It's always there. Nothing they can do will change the fact that there is that failure or disappointment in their lives. Those who view the same type of issue as being temporary will be more likely to see it as a speed bump in life's rearview mirror.

So what can you do to help you adopt this outlook?

Ever poured paint or bleach into a bucket of water? Pervasive negative thoughts can overwhelm the mind if allowed to run unchecked. When one bad thing enters the mind, it starts to spread and color everything else. Instead, try seeing new challenges as crayons that can be laid side-by-side with each other. Don't dwell on the fact that you didn't manage to quit smoking today. Instead, see that you smoked less and are not going to let a temporary setback prevent you from trying again the next day.

Just because you don't get something done the first time doesn't mean you won't get it done at another point in the future. No one writes a book, paints a portrait, or drives a car the first time they try.

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