27 Jul 4 daily practices that foster emotional resilience
via FastCompany by Sarah Goff-Dupont
If you want to learn a thing or two about emotional resilience, just talk to entrepreneur Ash Ambirge, creator of the Middle Finger Project. She’s been looked down on because she grew up in a trailer park. She’s been fired from jobs she worked hard to land. She’s had her heart broken and her savings stolen on the same day. She’s spent more than a few nights sleeping in her car. Yet even after all that, she’s still standing.
Ash may not have been born into an easy life of uninterrupted success, but she has always bounced back. You might even say she’s bounced forward. “The act of contributing meaningfully requires you to step out,” she says. “Your every weakness will be on display, but so will your courage.”
That’s the essence of emotional resilience: the ability to experience something stressful without letting it destroy your resolve, sense of purpose, or hopes for the future. It’s more than just keeping calm and carrying on. Being emotionally resilient means that you can acknowledge and metabolize negative feelings instead of locking them away or being overwhelmed by them. When an emotionally resilient person wears a brave face, there’s genuine bravery and optimism behind it.
If your resilience is starting to wear thin, take heart. Psychologists have been studying resilience for decades, and their body of research suggests many ways to cultivate it. Some of them, such as practicing patience, can’t be practiced any ol’ time you like—you have to wait for a stressful event to catch you by surprise. Others, such as journaling, self-compassion, practicing gratitude, and promoting hope, are available to us any time, any day. More on those below, including ways to extend your practice to include your family, friends, and colleagues.
Why bother building emotional resilience?
Resilience is important to our sense of balance, whether that’s work-life balance or our ability to navigate challenging situations successfully. It helps us feel like we can control how we respond to events, even when we don’t control the events themselves, and it acts as a buffer against anxiety and depression. Moreover, emotional resilience helps us achieve more because it makes us better problem solvers when things go awry.
There’s even evidence to suggest that resilience helps support the immune system. Stress hormones such as cortisol are involved in triggering the immune system response. However, the immune system can build up a tolerance to cortisol when levels stay elevated for long periods of time, thereby leaving us more susceptible to illness. Cultivating emotional resilience helps regulate your stress levels and keeps your immune system responsive.
FOUR DAILY PRACTICES THAT FOSTER EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE
You’ve probably experienced a sense of relief after confiding in a trusted friend. But did you know you can get that same sense of relief without having to disclose your deepest thoughts to another human? Reflective journaling has been shown to improve emotional stamina and resilience among nurses. (And if anybody has to absorb a lot of drama on the job, it’s a nurse.)
When we write down our experiences, we tend to ascribe meaning to them, says Debra Jackson, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney. This can lead to new insights and a deeper understanding of ourselves. Over time, we may recognize patterns in our behavior or emotional responses and respond more constructively in the future. Furthermore, reflecting on your successes promotes a sense of pride, which also contributes to resilience.
You don’t have to journal every day or write long entries in order to get the benefits. Still, it’s not a bad idea to keep your journal in your backpack or at your desk so it’s always handy. You don’t have to use pen and paper, either. Many people use a simple text file on their computer, and some people even do voice recordings. For the artistically inclined, a sketch journal might do the trick.
Whatever format you choose, make a point to create an entry on days you experience big highs or lows. Capturing those moments and your feelings about them while it’s all fresh in your mind means your entry will be more authentic and detailed, and therefore more beneficial.
Holding regular retrospectives with your team serves the same purpose as journaling. As you think back on the significant events of the past month, what’s working well, and what’s not, capture the team’s thoughts on Trello cards, a shared document, or a whiteboard (just be sure to take a picture). Over time, this living record will expose patterns and suggest new ways of working together that help your team hold steady in the face of setbacks.
… keep reading the full & original article HERE
#happiness #happy #resilience #emotions