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Emotional Resilience

Why do we need emotional resilience?

Stress is an inevitable part of our lives. From trying to get to work on time to dealing with an emotional trauma, we cope with these difficulties, differently.  Some of us deal with these challenges somewhat effectively, while others develop debilitating mental and physical health issues. One of the key differentiators among these two kinds of individuals – to sustain wellbeing and balance in the face of hardship – is emotional resilience.

What is emotional resilience?

Emotional Resilience is one’s ability to respond to stressful situations rather than react to them. What does that mean? Imagine you are a stone at the bank of a flowing river. If you accept the flow, you will float away along with the river; if you resist the flow, it will break you; but if you ground yourself to the bank, the river will flow over you while you maintain your ground. That’s resilience.

In everyday life, say you receive a rejection letter from a job you applied for. You can either react to it by feeling dejected, under-confidence or sad (equivalent to flowing with the river); or feel worked up and go on trying to prove that you are worthy by applying incessantly for other jobs and feel exhausted (equivalent to allowing the river flow to break you); or you can ground yourself, neither react not accept but be in allowance of the situation and look for more possibilities.

How can you build emotional resilience?

Emotional resilience is a like a muscle that you build overtime. There are three key ingredients to building emotional resilience:

  1. The power of questions

“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 min to ask the right question.” – Albert Einstein.

Not asking a question, is one of the biggest mistakes we make while dealing with a stressful situation. We do the opposite. WE PRESUME the outcomes. We presume a reality which doesn’t even exist but does have the potential to be manifested. What we presume, gets manifested. Say, we keep thinking: “This is hard. This is hard. This is hard.” – Guess what? Hardships is what will keep showing up in your life. Our thoughts guide our reality. Negative thoughts attract negative situations.

The antidote to presumptions and negative thoughts is to be in the questions always. What else is possible here? When we ask a question, our mind and bodies open to receive information from the environment, guiding us to what will contribute to us. Asking questions is also a way to ground ourselves like the stone on the bank of the river. It keeps you in the present (not in the past or the future).

What can I do or be to have more ease with this? This question is to take charge of the situation and instead of expecting the situation to change. You ask what can you do differently to create the change you are looking for?

  1. Willingness to be or do anything

In 1985, Jobs was brutally fired from the company he had once founded, APPLE. He was out and he wasn’t planning to come back after he sold all his shares. What do you imagine he did next? He immersed himself in creating NeXT, a high-end workstation, which was magnificent flop. He didn’t give in or give up. He kept moving along his passion for digital images and animation and became an investor in Pixar. He provided Pixar with ideas and board supervision. However, that failed too with Pixar by 1991. It was only when the Toy Story movie franchise was born that Steve Jobs got back on his feet. He convinced Apple to buy NeXT as a bargain for his reinvolvement. He turned all his failures into success and never looked back.

Like in the case of Steve jobs, was he willing to fail? Yes. Was he willing to be rejected and cast aside? Yes. He didn’t resist failures or rejections or judgements. Here is the key. What we resist, persists. Willing to be and do things that we resist is a game changer.

Willingness is a mental state of allowance. You don’t have to physically do things you resist but go through with it in your mind and experience it in the body to let it end so you are free from the effect of it. It’s like what you do with your worst fears. None of our worst fears ever come true. Why? Because we have gone through with it in our heads and body, so it never actualizes in this reality.

  1. Body Awareness

Your mind can lie, body doesn’t. Body awareness is different from mind awareness. Mind is more of logic, computations, and rationale. Body awareness is do with intuition, subconscious, and emotional intelligence. We tend of override our body’s awareness most of the time. For example, even if we are not hungry, we force feed ourselves to not waste food or because it is the set time for a meal or that is what has been told to us by our nutritionist. If we were to listen to our bodies more, our mental, emotional, and physical health will improve dramatically.

There are several tools available to sharpen your body awareness including meditation, mindfulness, yoga, access bars, massages, or any other body touch-processes. Including one of these in your daily routine builds your emotional resilience and mental wellbeing.

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