Building Emotional Resilience

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Health Assured team

15 May 2024

In the modern world, we can face a lot of stress and pressure, affecting our emotional regulation, mental health and risking burnout.

It’s important to be aware of our emotions, how situations make us feel and to recognise ways in which we can encourage emotionally resilience. In doing so we can better understand ourselves, our emotions and adapt to difficult situations to safeguard our mental wellbeing.

What is emotional resilience?

Emotional resilience is the ability to respond to and cope with demanding or unpredicted experiences and return to an improved emotional state.

Emotional resilience is less about how much you can endure and more about ways to recharge after difficult situations, such as an argument with a friend or not getting the promotion at work. Building emotional resilience means improving the ability to adapt and recover from tough emotional experiences.

It is a skill that adopts and encourages activities, such as mindfulness meditation and exercising to support maintaining good mental health and bouncing back after difficult experiences.  

Why do we need emotional resilience?

In moments of chaos and stress, good emotional regulation can be hard to achieve. Without taking the time to enjoy life, understand ourselves and our emotions, we risk poor emotional resilience which can make a difficult situation worse in the moment.

Refining emotional resilience allows us to understand how best to respond to these challenges and provides a better understanding of ourselves and our emotions.

Emotional resilience allows us to have a sense of perspective, so we are better able to understand the situation, making it easier to overcome negative feelings and emotions.

With good emotional resilience we are better prepared to handle adversity calmly and successfully, without risking our mental health.

Characteristics of emotional resilience.

Having emotional resilience requires time and attention, building resilience through activities, like spending time in nature or working on interests and hobbies. Most people live busy lives, so it can be difficult to squeeze time in to work on our emotional resilience.

Good mental health awareness

People who have emotional resilience are aware of their emotions and how they make them feel, such as understanding emotional triggers and the best ways to recharge after a long day. So, when they are faced with a difficult situation they are properly equipped to respond.

Awareness is best built through activities, like mindfulness meditation to understand how to connect and understand emotions. Grounding techniques can be great for building emotional awareness, for example moving your body and the 5-4-3-2-1 method.

Support system

Having a support system is incredibly important in supporting good mental health. Being able to lean on and express how you feel to people you trust can be liberating, encourage better emotional awareness and improving confidence.

Humans cannot function without connection with people, so creating a truest support system is beneficial for overall health.

They don’t judge themselves

Many people who struggle with emotional resilience struggle with the stigma attached to mental health challenges and often judge themselves.

The idea that having mental health challenges are innately bad manifests in the mind, encouraging feelings of guilt and inadequacy.

However, emotionally resilient people are often hyper aware of their mental wellbeing, give themselves time to understand their mental health and don’t judge themselves for struggling. They accept the situation for what it is, which can be extremely liberating.


Often, emotionally resilient people have a good and positive outlook on life. They can see the positives in most situations, even if the experience is negative and stressful. Optimism encourages better moods and positive expectations, giving way to better emotional resilience.

Confident that things will get better

Similarly, emotionally resilient people have confidence that things will get better and that difficult situations will pass. When presented with a tough experience, understanding that the negative emotion won’t last forever gives hope, making way for emotional strength and resilience.

Ways to build emotional resilience

In the fast-paced world of today, we are often told to push through the pain and endure no matter what. Yet, since the world was forced to slow down during the pandemic, more people have seen mental health as a priority, and rightly so. But how do we build emotional resilience to protect our mental health?

  1. Understand the best way you recharge

Just like a phone or laptop, humans need their ‘off-time’ to recharge and refresh. Otherwise we can feel overwhelmed and crash emotionally. Adopting ways to recharge is essential for emotional resilience and encourages much needed headspace.

It’s important to find out what activities make you feel recharged and boosts your mood, so when you are faced with a negative situation you feel refreshed enough to handle it.

Activities to build emotional resilience:

  • Guided mindful meditation
  • Grounding techniques
  • Exercising
  • Reading
  • Spend time in nature
  • Develop hobbies or interests
  • Connect with friends or family
  • Watching your favourite film or series
  1. Practising positivity

Emotionally resilient people tend to be positive and have a positive viewpoint on life. Being positive will allow you to approach unpleasant and uncomfortable situations with positivity and, subsequently encourage productivity, moving forward, emotional regulation and resilience.

Notice yourself when you are in a negative mindset and bring yourself back to positivity by acknowledging the situation, how it makes you feel and being kind to yourself. Practising gratitude and train yourself to reframe negative thoughts.

  1. Find support and connecting with others

Many people struggled during the pandemic because of the loss of connection with others. Relationships significantly influence good mental health and social connection is hard-wired into human behaviour. So, it’s not surprising when we feel a surge of positive emotion when connecting with people.

Having a support system to lean on when you need is paramount to emotional resilience. It provides emotional support, guidance and accountability so you are better able to safeguard your mental health and be emotionally resilient.

  1. Practise kindness

Stigma around mental health deflates many people and negatively affects the way they see themselves, leading to feelings of guilt and perpetuating a lack of confidence. Being kind to yourself alleviates negative emotions and feelings, allowing the mind to rest and build emotional resilience.

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