Resilience is our ability to stay emotionally balanced even when we are under pressure.
Emotionally resistant people tend to have an even keel although things may be going badly for them. That’s not to say they don’t have lousy, no-good days too. Resilient people simply resist being pulled under by life’s ups and downs better than many others.
Perhaps the biggest feature of emotional resilience that is relevant for us is the ability to balance stress and our emotions.
If our emotional core is heavily influenced by external circumstances, we get pushed and pulled in every direction at once, leading eventually to a state of helplessness and hopeless. After all, we can’t really force our environment to obey us. We can influence our circumstances, sometimes powerfully, but we cannot rearrange the world at our whim.
So we must focus on what we can control, and although our emotions may seem tempestuous beyond all control, they aren’t. People who have received treatment for depression or bipolar disorder know that good mental health hygiene can prevent a great deal of the ups and downs associated with those disorders.
That same hygiene can serve anyone at any time.
Now, all we need to do is find out exactly what it is. Good mental hygiene is looking after yourself. It’s taking care of your own needs, without letting stress and pressure crush you.
If you want to be more resilient, I would start with becoming aware of your own triggers, I think of these as knowing your own vulnerability factors.
For me, it is sleep and work. If I find myself in a bit of a mess, I do not look to what had happened that day, I go backwards and try to identify what I could have done differently.
For example, I might find that I noticed that my sleep was getting affected, so I go back further still and see that I was working too hard. When I work too hard my thoughts suffer and these are what usually keeps me awake at night (planning the next day)
To be emotionally resilient the next time, I would then know to watch how much I am working, in order to avoid the sleepless nights, which finally resulted in the mess!