Emotional resilience refers to the ability to recover from difficulties or stressful events and the capacity within ourselves to adapt more effectively to them. Each event is experienced individually and means something different, with the effects being specific to each person.
What appears as a stressful or chaotic event for you, is important! Though others around you may not appear to be as affected, this does not make your experience any less valuable. It is important to you and it does matter! In these instances we all have different ways of coping and trying to manage the situation. You do the best that you can in the moment and use strategies that are familiar to you, however they may not be working as well in the present moment, as they have done in the past. This is where psychotherapy may be very useful for you!
How we manage demanding life events and our resilience to these can be dependent on many different factors, including; past experiences, coping strategies, personality, internal belief system and external support systems. We often tend to carry the effects of past emotional experiences with us, which many of us may not be fully conscious of. These can be triggered in times of distress and held emotions, that have not been fully dealt with or processed, can be brought to the surface.
Learning and building a deeper relationship with yourself through a self-reflective practice and understanding your ‘trigger’ points can be very useful in helping to build emotional resilience through an acknowledgement and acceptance of your past experiences and emotions attached to them. Emotionally resilient people experience difficult feelings and instead of suppressing or ignoring them, follow the difficult route of understanding, feeling and healing these past emotional hurts. In knowing what is beneath these triggers can help to give them less power in the future.
The distress or change you have experienced can be understood through a sensitivity within the psychotherapist to really gain a true and deep sense of you and what you are dealing with in life. Issues that may not have been fully acknowledged or suppressed, may be causing greater suffering and these can be faced together with the therapist, through a gentle approach. The therapist reflects back your behaviours, thoughts and feelings as a way of heightening your awareness through a holistic approach. This helps you to gain a better understanding of yourself and also develop your emotional resilience.
Here are some other things to think about at home that can help you to develop and strengthen emotional resilience:
- Self-care – remembering to look after your emotional, psychological and physical well-being is what I consider to be most important.
- Support networks – it is essential that you seek support and ask for help from family, friends or a professional, when needed. There is great courage in doing this and can help to lessen the heaviness of what you may be carrying.
- Keeping perspective – easier said than done when amongst the strain of life, however very important. This is also where support networks may also be helpful.
- Accepting change – this is an inevitable part of life. It may be useful to grieve what has been lost in order to embrace and accept what is now.
- Hope – is it essential that we hold on to hope, even when it may be tough and hope appears small, know that it is still within you.
I hope this helps!