NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Developing Emotional Resilience

Emotional resilience refers to a person's ability to deal with adversity, stressful situations and crisis in a balanced way. It's often part of a person's nature. However, the good news is that even if you're not naturally resilient and you tend to be a person who is more vulnerable to stressful events, you can learn to develop better coping skills so that you can become more resilient.

Developing Emotional Resilience

The ability to be more resilient is on a continuum so it's not an "all or nothing" kind of thing. It's not like either you have it or you don't--it's a matter of degree. Some people have better coping skills than others. So, before we explore how to become more resilient, let's explore what positive factors contribute to being more resilient:
  • Understanding your feelings --what you feel and why you feel it

  • Willingness to take appropriate action and not to give up easily

  • Having a positive outlook about yourself and the world

  • Willingness to seek emotional support when you need it

  • Being able to laugh at life's every day challenges

  • Learning from your mistakes and being willing to change

  • Finding meaning and purpose in your life
How to Develop Emotional Resilience:
Engage in positive self talk. Remind yourself of your strengths and inner resources, your positive experiences, and that you have dealt with other problems before.

Understand why you are feeling upset so you can take positive action.

Know what you can control in your life and in the world and what you cannot. Learn how to respond and not overreact to adversity. There's a lot of wisdom in the Serenity Prayer: "God, grant me the wisdom to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference."

Develop a positive outlook on the world. Learn to cultivate an optimistic attitude.

Talk to supportive friends and family and allow them to give you support when you need it.

Be flexible and willing to change, adapt and grow.

Develop a sense of humor and learn to laugh at every day stressors. Be curious. Learn to develop your playful side. Whatever you can laugh at, most likely, will not have so much power over you.

Get plenty of rest, eat nutritious foods, and maintain a healthy exercise regime (always consult with your doctor before beginning an exercise program).

Learn to find the deeper meaning in life's stressful situations. Whether you consider yourself to be a spiritual person or not, you can find a deeper meaning and even a deeper purpose when faced with adversity.

Be persistent. When you know that you are on the path that is right for you, don't give up when you become discouraged. Develop a positive attitude and a perspective that you're in it for the long haul.

Remember that it's a process. Be patient with yourself and others.

Good luck to you on your journey.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist.  

I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist 

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.