4 Steps to Being Emotionally Resilient

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Having experienced working in the public health and service sector as a public health inspector, some encounters are not pleasant at all. From landlords yelling to my face to unlicensed tattoo artists trying to intimidate me with their gestures and scary tattoos, believe me when I say that being emotionally resilient takes practice.

Every single one of us is capable of controlling our emotions, though it certainly doesn’t always feel like it! The key to controlling emotions lies in a choice and practicing this skill results in great rewards.

Even though controlling your emotions is a choice, it’s not always an easy one, is it? This is because the time you most need to make that choice tends to be the time you are least able to.

Just this past weekend, I burst out at my husband with anger (which I rarely do)! He loves watching Star Trek (Sci-fi fan!) and he was catching up with his episodes, but being it was Sunday, we also prepare meals as a family so our week is less stressful and food is the one thing I don’t want to think about when I have several other things that are important.

“I wish I could I sit all day and watch TV!” I bursted out.

“If you need my help, then just say so,” he replied harshly.

“I’ve been asking you to fix the light switch in the bathroom, has that been done? NO!” I replied back even more angry.

You know how it goes - something happens to create a bad moment, and before you know it, you’ve allowed that moment to turn into a bad day, and it’s completely taken over, but that didn’t happen to us.

Knowledge is power, and when I realized that a choice needs to be made whether to stay angry all day or get his help in organizing things around the house, I chose the latter. Badur, my husband, is a massage therapist and he gets physically tired each day after healing 5-6 clients, and watching his favorite episode is some relaxation for him.

You can learn to hone the skill of being emotionally resilient and literally change... your mind!

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Here are the four steps to take to begin immediately controlling your emotions, whenever you feel the need:

1.    Become aware of what you’re feeling, and when. Take a really good look at the mood you wake up in, how you feel in the morning, afternoon, evening, and nighttime, and how you feel before going to sleep. Make a point of noticing mood fluctuations during the day, and what types of things tend to create negative thinking.

 

2.    When you have a negative emotion stir up, stop and acknowledge it, and ask yourself the true meaning behind it. Be brutally honest with yourself. In my case, the reason I got upset is because of two reasons. One, I was jealous that he could sit and relax and I felt I couldn’t until meals were prepared. Second, the sound of TV being on all morning started bothering me.

For instance, if a friend announces a work promotion, you may be outwardly happy, but then a bad mood surfaces shortly after. It could be that you’re feeling jealous, or maybe guilty because you know you’re not working up to your own potential. This is why being honest with yourself is so vitally important. You can’t change things if you can’t identify them for what they truly are.

 

3.    Once you know what you’re feeling, and have honest answers as to why you’re feeling it, you can then begin considering what would help you not feel that way. Using the example from #2, you may have to choose to do more/be better at work so that you will receive a promotion too. The question to ask yourself is, “What actions can I take to alleviate this negative emotion?”

 

4.    Take that action! The healthiest thing you can do at this point is to take your own advice on actually doing what you need to do to alleviate your negative emotions.

Again, in my example, I spoke my truth and told Badur that I was jealous that he could sit and watch TV and I felt I couldn’t because I had other things to do. I, too, wanted to watch a good movie or read a book.

As you practice these steps, you’ll enjoy more control over your life, and that will result in a happier you! Let me know how it goes when you apply these four steps. I’d love to hear from you!

Zaheen Nanji is a Resilience Champion and trains people and organizations on how to build their resilience muscle so it becomes a first reflex in times of change and challenge.

You were very easy to deal with. Pleasant manner, tone of voice and easy to speak to.  You kind of have the voice and demeanor that make people "want" to talk with you. Once people know your story, they want to talk to you more, perhaps to grab a bit of your strength and positive attitude in their own lives.  I find you to have a caring way about you. Concerned for others and how you can help them be better at being them.

Leanne Carpenter

Office of the Chief Administrative Officer - Town of Stony Plain

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Prove you're human. Select the odd one out.
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You were very easy to deal with. Pleasant manner, tone of voice and easy to speak to.  You kind of have the voice and demeanor that make people "want" to talk with you. Once people know your story, they want to talk to you more, perhaps to grab a bit of your strength and positive attitude in their own lives.  I find you to have a caring way about you. Concerned for others and how you can help them be better at being them.

Leanne Carpenter

Office of the Chief Administrative Officer - Town of Stony Plain

Zaheen Nanji is a Resilience Champion and trains people and organizations on how to build their resilience muscle so it becomes a first reflex in times of change and challenge.

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