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10 Things Emotionally Resilient People Don’t Do

10 Things Emotionally Resilient People Don’t Do

Emotional resilience is trendy, so read on. Basically, this means that if you are emotionally resilient, you can bounce back from most setbacks that life can throw at you. In times of stress, failure or even a natural disaster, your emotional resilience will be put to the test. The word ‘resilience’ comes from the Latin word ‘resilio’ which means to bounce back. Business people, social workers and school children can all benefit from this emotional fitness. So, how emotionally fit are you? Let us look at what these people never do because they have a natural talent to cope with the stress of everyday living.

1. They don’t  waste energy on negativity

When these people are in a traffic jam, they accept that it is part of the deal of commuting to work. They are able to take advantage of this and listen to their favourite music on their MP3 or the radio. They realize that their anger, bad mood or temper is not going to change the situation one little bit. It is just another part of acceptance but also an opportunity. They are also able to reflect on what is going well and how grateful they should be. “Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts.” – Allan Lokos

 2. They don’t reject mindfulness as rubbish

Living in the present and savoring sensations and feelings is the core teaching in mindfulness. Emotionally resilient people know this instinctively or learn it. They use it as a protective shield against the following toxic emotions:

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  • Regrets about past decisions
  • Envy of others’ success
  • Worrying about the future

 3. They don’t let tragedy mark them for life

We all have scars and we all have suffered from tragedy whether it be break ups, illness, bereavement, job loss or mental illness. Now emotionally fit people can see that this adversity is short lived. They have a goal which will enable them to overcome the sadness and become a stronger and more capable person. They see change as an integral part of life and are prepared for some moments of despair, sadness and discomfort. They have often been compared to a bamboo cane in a storm which is bent by the force of the wind but is not broken.

4. They don’t lock themselves away

Emotionally unfit people tend to wallow in their own downward spiral of negativity. But the resilient ones are going to find the time to make real social contact, keep physically fit by going for a walk or a run, and help the less fortunate. They know and savor the fact that these are healthy distractions which are essential for self-care.

5. They don’t limit themselves to one solution

These people are prepared to admit that they see everything through a filter. They look at a problem from many angles and try to think outside the box. They know that their own personal bias can become a default position. That is why they seek to widen their view knowing that they are growing towards empowerment. They are also prepared to wait, rather than seeking answers and quick fix solutions.

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6. They don’t control their impulses

Our impulse control is governed by the size of the orbitofrontal cortex region of the brain. Research shows that people who had a smaller cortex were more subject to more impulsive behavior such as shopping, drinking, smoking, gambling and sex. Emotionally resilient people tend to keep these impulses at bay by thinking about consequences and how they will feel afterwards, when it may be too late.

7. They don’t let time heal

“It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.”- Lena Horne

Time heals sorrow, loss and trauma. But many emotionally unfit people are not prepared to let time take its course. It is as if they wanted to abolish all the pain and suffering with one magic pill. They are more aware of chronological time rather than kairos time. The latter is one of the keys to emotional resilience because it teaches us about the pace with which our personal journey moves forward with all the emotional inheritance we have gathered along the way.

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8. They don’t laugh enough

“To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.” – Charlie Chaplin

If you read the book by Drs. Steven and Sybil Wolin called ‘The Resilient Self’ you will learn how humor and laughter play a very important role in helping to build emotional resilience. Humor helps us to see the absurdity of a situation which may be painful. In addition, laughter itself is a physical reaction which can reduce the stress hormone called cortisol and increase the feel good endorphins.

9. They don’t regard happiness as a top priority

Research has shown that where couples are dominated by one partner who is always right, the couple’s happiness was at risk. The preference of being happy rather than always right is a trait of emotionally resilient people.

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10. They don’t persevere enough

If people do not have clear goals, they tend to quit after minor setbacks. But emotionally resilient people can see the bigger picture and can follow an action plan which helps them achieve mini goals. They regard setbacks as minor interruptions. This is why these people never give up. As we have seen emotionally resilient people are able to keep calm and collected in the face of enormous setbacks and not lose their hope or determination. Let us know in the comments below about how you cope with stress and failure.

Featured photo credit: Bamboo in the wind/ Luis Alejandro Bernal Romero via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

“Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

1. Make a Gratitude List

In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

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The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

2. Write in a Journal

Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

3. Meditate

Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

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Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

4. Do Child’s Pose

Yoga Outlet says:

“Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

     

    Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

    5. Try Positive Self-Talk

    Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

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    When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

    Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

    When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

    When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

    Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

    6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

    Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

    You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

    It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

    Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

    If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

    7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

    “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

    If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

    You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

    When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

    If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

    Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

    Final Thoughts

    If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

    Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

    You can invest in yourself via self-care.

    You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

    More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

    Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

    Reference

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