In our last blog post we looked at the interconnected dimensions of resilience, with a focus on mental resilience. Now, we’re diving deeper into emotional intelligence to understand its impact and how to develop it further – adding another string to our confidence bow.
Emotional resilience refers to our ability to manage the emotional impact of stressful situations – both the major traumatic kind and the minor daily stresses that life can throw up. It’s about how well we can adapt and ‘bounce back’ when something difficult arises.
Emotionally resilient people are better at acknowledging and understanding their feelings in demanding situations and talk themselves down from those feelings of overwhelm that can quickly escalate to anxiety. Those with less emotional resilience are prone to high sensitivity, overreacting and in some cases, catastrophising.
Strengthening our emotional resilience provides us with a toolbox to protect ourselves against experiences that can be overwhelming. Other benefits to improving our emotional wellbeing include improved achievement; higher productivity; lower propensity to engage in risk taking behaviour such as excessive drinking, drug taking or smoking; better physical health and an increased involvement in social circles.
Although we are born with an inherent resilience, there are several ways to develop it further and these are daily activities that many of us already undertake:
- Take the time to understand your inner life – what soothes you and what are the things you are sensitive to that can cause an overreaction or particularly emotive reaction
- Develop community – maintain a strong network of friends, family and supporters
- Practice assertiveness – if you feel you are having unreasonable demands placed on you, be prepared to say no and explain your feelings
- Look after your physical health – exercise, eat well and get enough sleep
- Enjoy yourself! Whether it’s taking a bath, a walk, maintaining a hobby or listening to music, understand what makes you happy and engage in it regularly.
- Lastly, go easy on yourself. That inner voice can be a harsh critic so remember to reward yourself for achievements and forgive yourself when you make a mistake.
All these small steps combined lead to stronger emotional resilience and an increased capacity to succeed in all areas of our lives. When it comes to our careers, resilience means we are better at (among many other things) connecting with others and building relationships, remaining authentic and displaying perseverance and tenacity to achieve our goals. Each of these three things builds on our core confidence and makes us shine in our roles knowing ‘we’ve got this’, whatever comes along.