What is emotional resilience?
Emotional resilience is a popular term in the wellness industry. As much as people use it, though, it goes undefined all too often. We’re all simply expected to know what it means. So let’s talk about what resilience actually looks like.
Emotional resilience is an ability to feel a range of emotions, including emotions that are hard to feel. It’s about having the emotional flexibility to embrace a full emotional experience.
Resilience is the process of experiencing challenging times in life and allowing yourself to feel the deepest parts of what you’re going through. When you’re able to see your own suffering, something incredible happens: you’re given the opportunity to build resilience, and your perspective is widened to see your strength in your suffering.
As we become more resilient, we also build more…
- Healthy self-esteem
- Open and non-judgmental mind
- Spiritual connection
- Emotional regulation
- Positive coping strategies
- Strong relationships
- Sense of humor
- Emotional flexibility
- Belief in yourself
Build your meditation and mindfulness practice to expand your capacity for emotional flexibility.
We can build and grow resilience by practicing self-awareness. That means cultivating a consistent mindfulness and meditation practice. Begin your practice by starting here at our Medi Moments blog. You’ll find several free guided meditations there that you can use to assist you in your meditation practice.
A daily meditation practice helps create new pathways in your brain. The more you meditate, the more comfortable you’ll become within your emotional landscape. Meditation is the act of sitting quietly with your breath. During that time, you might begin to feel uncomfortable, and that’s normal. Eventually, though, you’ll notice that those uncomfortable feelings ease up. In time, you’ll feel a similar easing up when faced with challenging situations and emotions in your daily life.
Your life is a beautiful array of experiences, full of a whole range of emotions.
The essence of life is that we’re here to have a full variety of experiences. Those experiences include a dynamic range of emotions like love, suffering, loss, fear, anger, enthusiasm, and joy. Building resilience isn’t about avoiding those emotions; it’s about letting yourself feel them fully.
Grief, for example, is an emotion that stems from losing something or someone we love. That’s what we call the heart breaking open. Your suffering is equal to that love. When you embrace the totality of what you feel, you’re also embracing life.
What is resistance?
Resistance is the refusal to accept something for what it is. In our bodies, resistance feels like tension, tightness, and gripping. Resistance triggers our emotions, which triggers our behavior. Our behavior is directly correlated with the emotions we experience the most.
When we learn how to sit with our emotions rather than be ruled by them, we build emotional resilience. This is why meditation is such an important part of this work. Meditation challenges us to sit with our emotions, dilemmas, fears, and pain, and to allow them to move through us.
Practice feeling a full range of emotions rather than hanging onto one emotion all the time.
Have you ever tried to hold onto an ice cube in the sun? It just runs through your fingers eventually. That’s the same thing that happens when you grip onto, say, joy. It’s impossible to feel joyous all the time. Attaching yourself to one emotion lacks sincerity, depth, and truth, no matter the emotion you’re gripping to. It could be joy, love, excitement, or even anger. Grasping onto any emotion all the time is equally unproductive.
Your life is an opportunity for experience and expansion. When you can allow yourself to experience a range of emotions and see them for what they are, you’ve embraced resilience. You’re here to tell your story.
Emotional resilience is the art of acceptance.