By building emotional resilience, you can learn how to make yourself feel better.

emotional resilience

We all go through difficult times in our lives – especially when we’re growing up. If you feel like you’re under too much stress, have nowhere you can turn to for help, or can’t carry on with things the way they are, it can be extremely traumatic and take a toll on your mental health.

If you are experiencing thoughts like this, you shouldn’t feel like you have to suffer in silence. There are lots of people out there who want to give you the support you need. When you visit these people – they may be social workers, teachers, counsellors or project workers from The Children’s Society – they’ll listen to what you have to say, and work with you so that you start to find it easier to cope with how you feel.

One of the main ways people will help you if you are experiencing mental health issues is by helping you build your emotional resilience. By building emotional resilience, you can learn how to make yourself feel better when things seem like they’re starting to become too much to handle.

What is emotional resilience?

Emotional resilience is your ability to respond to stressful or unexpected situations and crises. Everyone is born with a certain amount of emotional resilience, but how much you have can easily change over time, and some people are much better equipped to handle stress and hardship than others.

The amount of emotional resilience you have is determined by a number of different things, including how old you are, what gender you are, and what you’ve experienced in your life. Just because someone has a high level of emotional resilience, it doesn’t make them any better than someone who has low levels.

Regardless of the level of emotional resilience you’re born with, you can learn how to increase the amount you have by being aware of the ways you think about certain things, and taking steps to change your approach to those thoughts. Key areas to focus on to improve your levels of emotional intelligence include:   

Getting a sense of perspective

While something may feel very immediate and intense the moment it happens, it’s really helpful to try and make yourself take a broader view. Ask yourself how you will feel about the thing that’s upsetting you in a week, a month or a year? Considering issues in this way will help you have some perspective about how much you should let them bother you. 

Practising positivity

Regardless of the situations you find yourself in, remember that you have tremendous personal strength – even if it doesn’t feel that way at the moment. Each of us is far stronger than we know, so even if you feel like you can’t carry on, try and appreciate just how strong you are and know you can get through whatever’s happening. In bad situations, it’s really helpful to try and think of a positive outcomeyou can take from it – it may be that you’ll learn something from this experience, that you’ve been through it and it hasn’t broken you, or that it’s helped you realise who you can really trust.

Giving yourself a break

Sometimes you can be your own worst critic, so it’s important that when you feel stressed or worried you aren’t too hard on yourself. When you find yourselves in situations like this, try and treat yourself. It could be something as simple as going to a place you enjoy, finding a quiet spot to read a book or listen to music, or taking some time to play one of your favourite computer games. Try to remember that despite how you may feel, you’re a valuable person who deserves good things – it’s absolutely right that you should treat yourself when you feel bad.

If you’d like to find out more about emotional intelligence, there are a number of resources available at our resource vault and websites like Young Minds also have a range of handy tips and advice. Alternatively, find one of our services nearest to you.