Emotional Resilience


What is your level of emotional resilience?

When challenges arise in your life how do you cope? Do you face them head on or do you buckle, giving in to your feelings of overwhelm? Or even though you may become fragmented, do you find the strength to pick yourself back up, dust yourself back off and try again?

When you are unable to cope with the pressures of life and you feel overwhelmed, do you have a tendency to look to external devices such as alcohol and drugs to numb the feelings? Or do you reach inside to find the power to surmount the challenges?

There have been many times in my life that I have used some of those above mentioned strategies to cope. However, I realized they were only band-aids, quick-fixes. With each sobering moment the challenges still existed or grew worse."

I have witnessed personally and professionally success in building emotional resilience through the following ways:

I. Faith

Through the power of faith I have been able to develop my emotional resilience muscle. I have found the tenacity to cope even in the toughest of moments. Even when challenges seemed insurmountable for me, I still had the optimism to hang in because I believed that by faith I would triumph. And I did!

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.” -Martin Luther King, Jr. We tend to underestimate the power of faith. Many people feel if they admit to having faith it is admitting to being religious. Faith has nothing to do with religion. We see faith in action everyday of our lives. Each time the space shuttle takes off, they go in faith, hoping to reach their desired target. Whenever scientists undertake a research project, millions of dollars are invested in faith that they will prove their hypothesis.

Faith is a stimulus, a power that drives us to aspire, to achieve the impossible. Faith drives away fear allowing more emotional resilience. It is a force that lives within us, that pushes us to believe that no matter the difficulties, things will work out for the best. When one has faith, they are happier, more optimistic about their future and its outcomes. We hear stories of faith from many and most recently Lance Armstrong who claimed that his reliance on faith pulled him through his struggles with cancer.

Now having faith doesn’t mean you only believe and wait for things to happen. You still have to make the effort. For example, if you believe through faith that in time you will regain your self-esteem and do nothing to work on building it, then idea of faith would be unresponsive. There needs to be an action of doing something, of being exertive for faith to operate. It is through the act of doing that you strengthen your emotional resilience.

What is your measure of faith?

I recommend the following ways to develop your faith and strengthen your emotional resilience.

  • Surround yourself by people who can inspire you and strengthen your personal faith. These people can also help to build your emotional resilience.

  • Read literature and stories that inspire faith.

  • Realize that you already rely on faith in many aspects of your life. Bringing it to the forefront of your consciousness will help you to better cope with the adversities in you life. This is emotional resilience in action.

    Relying on faith can catapult you to accomplishing your most challenging feats. Teach your children about the power of faith so they too can become resilient.

    “As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.” - Emmanuel Teney

    II. Prayer

    I have discovered the power of prayer in my life. When you believe in the power of prayer, you feel relieved of your burdens and your stress. It brings hope, peace of mind, and optimism to face difficult situations. It allows us more rational thought to focus on the roadblocks (not problems) at hand and deal with them head on. Drowning in the bottle, giving in to alcohol addiction doesn’t resolve the problem. Casting our fears and cares to a higher power relieves us of the stress, allowing us the ability to confront our challenges in a clear, coherent, rational manner. In other words, prayer is a great channel to build your emotional resilience.

    Prayer is a direct communication with a higher power. It must be sincere, a humble outpouring of emotions not only to make a request or cast our sorrows but to give thanks, Through faith, we can believe that our prayers will be answered. They may be answered instantly, or later, or they may not be answered in the way we hope. And even when that happens, we must still find the answers, the lessons in the way things turn out.

    Learn how to pray, teach your children how to pray. Remember prayer doesn’t have to be eloquent or an act of trying to impress. Prayer is simple. It must come from a humble heart and you must believe in the power of prayer.

    Here is a simple prayer guideline:

  • Give thanks for all the blessings in your life. You need to recognize your blessings such as the love you have, family, friends, food, clothing, a place to live, safety, good health.

  • Ask for guidance in your life, to be able to recognize opportunities. Ask for spiritual cleansing, for peace in your heart and life. Ask for strength to cope with life’s difficulties and good health. Ask for blessings to those less fortunate. Asks for positive changes in your life. Ask for anything you wish to ask for, for you and your family.

    By implementing and practicing these two essential precepts in your life, you will be amazed of how much more your level of emotional resilience will increase. Begin today!

    III. Self-esteem

    When your self-esteem and self-worth is high, your perception of events in your life is clear. This allows you to tackle any obstacle you encounter. You remain emotionally resilient and focused on your goals.

    IV. Self-confidence

    When you feel confident in your abilities, there is little room for doubt or fear. This self-confidence allows you the emotional resilience to forge ahead and execute your plan of action. However, remember that emotional resilience is something you build. It's after falling and failing and trying again that you become more resilient. So don't be afraid to falter. The next time around you will be more resilient to triumph.

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